June 24, 2008

World Food Programme Says Transport Strike Hitting Nepal Work

Text of report by Nepalnews.com website on 24 June

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said indefinite strike called by the transportation entrepreneurs, ongoing impacts of fuel shortages and the inability by the concerned parties to reach agreement on transport rates has resulted in suspension of WFP food deliveries.

In a statement on Tuesday [24 June], WFP said the strike has limited its ability to provide vital humanitarian food assistance to hundreds of thousands of Nepalis in desperate need of food aid.

WPF also warned that strikes, fuel shortage needed to transport the food items to needy people across the country is threatening to bring all its food distribution services to a halt, placing hundreds of thousands of people, particularly those already suffering from severe drought in the mid-far west, at risk.

The UN agency said it is working closely with the Nepal Oil Corporation and transporters to find an immediate solution and may be forced to use WFP convoys to transport food aid.

"I urge all parties to work together to resolve this crisis so that the trucks and fuel needed to carry WFP humanitarian food assistance to drought and conflict-affected populations, and vulnerable women and children can be made available so that WFP can continue its efforts to protect the lives of vulnerable families across Nepal," said WFP country representative to Nepal Richard Regan.

Originally published by Nepalnews.com website, Kathmandu, in English 24 Jun 08.

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