The European Union has contributed 340 million Nepali Rupees (EUR 3 million) to the United Nations’ World Food Program(WFP) to help deliver shelter and emergency supplies to remote mountain communities still struggling after the April earthquake.
The EU contribution supports WFP’s Remote Access Operation that employs mountain porters, guides and mule operators - some of whom lost their tourism industry jobs after the earthquake. The donation comes just weeks after WFP announced that a lack of fuel for helicopters and trucks is causing it to increase its reliance on porters and mules in its earthquake response.
“The earthquake and the ongoing shortages caused by the unreliable flow of goods at the border is endangering livelihoods in this country,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Nepal Country Director. “This project, which has so far employed more than 19,300 people and granted access to roads, trails and markets for more than 127,000 people, is an important step towards recovering some of these livelihoods and helping the most vulnerable. WFP is extremely grateful for its long-standing partnership with the EU in Nepal.”
Through the operation, WFP has already distributed more than 1,330 metric tons of cargo on behalf of the humanitarian community, and employed local communities to open 890 kilometres of mountain trails damaged by the quake, subsequent aftershocks and the monsoon. However, hundreds of thousands of people in Nepal living in remote, mountainous areas still rely on outside help for basic needs.
"The EU assistance through WFP’s Remote Access Operation ensures the delivery of food and other humanitarian supplies to the most remote and earthquake-affected parts of the country,” said Rensje Teerink, EU Ambassador to Nepal. “WFP is transporting food, health kits and medical supplies to thousands of people in rural communities who live in villages located far above the altitude accessible by roads and helicopters.”
The EU has been a longstanding supporter of WFP in Nepal. Since 2012, it has helped WFP support the Nepal Food Security Monitoring System, which helps the government to identify the most food insecure districts and was an important tool in post-earthquake efforts to ascertain those most in need of food assistance.