The United States has confirmed a US$1 million contribution for the World Food Program (WFP) to provide food assistance to refugees from Bhutan living in Nepal. The contribution from the United States will help WFP provide basic food such as rice, pulses and vegetable oil for nearly 17,000 refugees.
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has been the largest supporter of WFP’s refugee operation in Nepal and has contributed every year for the past ten years.
“USAID’s contribution to WFP is part of our global effort to respond to protracted crises. The United States has contributed almost US$34 million to provide food assistance to refugees from Bhutan in Nepal between 2006 and 2016,” said Amy Tohill-Stull, Acting Mission Director, USAID/Nepal. “The United States has also become home to the great majority of resettled Bhutanese refugees.”
According to a press release issued by WFP, in the first quarter of 2016, WFP distributed some 730 metric tons of food to refugees. Furthermore, 659 children under the age of five and 380 pregnant women and nursing mothers, along with HIV and TB clients, received extra rations to help meet their nutritional needs. WFP is also promoting the expansion of vegetable gardens with tools, seeds and guidance, in order to complement the refugees’ food basket and promote self-reliance.
“The refugee community is very happy about the news of USAID’s support and I would like to thank donors for their support for the Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal,” said Champa Singh Rai, Camp Secretary of Sanischare refugee camp.
“WFP is grateful to USAID for this generous support, especially at this time of unprecedented global needs of refugees,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Representative and Country Director. “Predictable and secure funding like this is important for the effective longer-tem management of an operation, as well as showing commitment to the refugees.”