Over 250,000 Nepalis facing severe food crunch: World Food Programme

June 20th, 2008 - 12:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, June 20 (Xinhua) More than 250,000 people in nine districts in Nepal are now facing a severe food shortage due to crop failures, the Nepal unit of World Food Programme (WFP) has warned. “The food security situation in the mid and far western regions is very worrying,” the WFP-Nepal said in an emergency update which was carried by The Kathmandu Post Friday.

According to the report, more than 250,000 people are facing severe food insecurity with crops failing by a whopping 20-70 percent during the last harvesting season.

“This is the fifth consecutive poor crop yield. Severe drought, hailstorm and snowfall have left many communities in the regions in a very precarious condition as they enter the three-month lean season,” the report said.

“The most critical period is mid-June to August when households will run out of their meagre stocks and become more dependent on the market for their food supply,” the report said.

Following mounting reports of severe food insecurity in those districts, the ministry of agriculture and cooperatives, in collaboration with WFP-Nepal, is set to undertake a rapid food security assessment mission in the food-deficit districts, the newspaper said.

“As reports are coming in about the shortage of food grain in those districts, we are conducting a two-week-long assessment to take stock of the current situation and prepare future strategies to address the problems of the local people,” agriculture ministry spokesperson Hari Dahal said.

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