More than one million people in Nepal could go hungry unless the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is able to freely transport aid, the agency warned on Thursday, while appealing to the country's transport union to stop disruption of vehicle movement.
"Over 50,000 hungry people in Humla, Jumla, and Dolpa are waiting for our helicopters to arrive so that they can receive desperately needed food rations," said WFP Representative, Richard Ragan.
The WFP also appealed to the Nepalese transport union, which has been disrupting the flow of transport trucks across the country for the past week, to allow its convoys to deliver assistance to over 50,000 drought-affected people and over 100,000 Bhutanese refugees.
"Both the refugees and the people of the mid-west have suffered enough. We need those trucks through so that we can continue to provide humanitarian assistance to hungry families," Ragan said.
WFP is in its third phase of emergency operations to provide a two-month ration to over 225,000 drought-affected people in mid- and far-western Nepal.
Over 265 helicopter flights are planned out of Surkhet to deliver 730 metric tons of food to these remote communities. In the east, WFP provides food for seven Bhutanese refugee camps.
With an annual budget of nearly 30 million US dollars for Nepal, WFP will provide food assistance to over 1.7 million Nepalis and more than 106,000 Bhutanese refugees by the end of the year.
WFP's humanitarian support targets the most vulnerable populations living in 31 districts with inadequate food supplies across Nepal.