The French Government has provided a humanitarian aid of EURO 200,000.00 (EURO two hundred thousand) to UNICEF Nepal. Aid to UNICEF will focus on the management of acute malnutrition in 18 flood-affected districts (Jhapa, Morang, Sunsari, Saptari, Siraha, Udayapur, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Nawalparasi, Rupandehi, Kapilvastu, Dang, Banke and Bardiya) through provision of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for treatment of children who are severely malnourished in those districts.
According to the Rapid Nutrition Assessment conducted by the nutrition cluster following the floods in August 2017, the severity of acute malnutrition among children in these districts is “critical” or “severe” as per the WHO guidelines on child malnutrition under emergencies. The project, implemented through the Ministry of Health from September 2017 until February 2018, will meet the immediate nutritional needs of 3,000 of such children affected by flood emergency in southern Nepal.
Regarding this aid, French Ambassador to Nepal Yves Carmona said, “France, as a true friend of Nepal, is deeply saddened by the immense loss of lives and the disastrous effect the floods had on the local population. We consider children (amongst others) a very vulnerable group who are affected by this disaster. We are aware of the situation of malnutrition present amongst the children in the region and hence decided to work with the UNICEF in this regard."
Similarly UNICEF Nepal’s Representative a.i. Dr. Rownak Khan said, “the quick assessment in the 18 flood-affected districts showed that more than six per cent of under-five children are suffering from severe form of acute malnutrition which increases the risk of death of these children if they are not treated quickly with appropriate food such as RUTF. This partnership with the French Government will enable UNICEF to work double speed with Government of Nepal and partners to improve the nutritional status of the children affected by the floods. At the same time, we will work towards ensuring that the nutritional gains the country has achieved in the last few years does not deteriorate due to the disasters."