KATHMANDU, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) — The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) on Friday said that it has reduced humanitarian assistance to Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal due to severe cuts in funds.
Issuing a statement, WFP said it has been compelled to reduce the amount of food provided to Bhutanese refugees starting from this month. Currently, there are around 11,000 refugees from Bhutan living in Nepal’s eastern region who depend on humanitarian assistance.
However, WFP said it will provide full rations to 3,100 of the most vulnerable refugees including the elderly, people with disabilities, and single mothers.
“Full rations consist of a monthly supply of around 17 kilograms of food, composed of a daily ration of 440 grams of rice, 90 grams of varied pulses, 25 grams of vegetable oil and salt and the food supplies”, the statement reads.
Monthly rations of 10 kilograms of rice will be provided to the remaining 7,700 refugees, WFP said.
Pippa Bradford, WFP Representative and Country Director said said the agency “will promote the expansion of vegetable gardens with tools, seeds and guidance in order to complement the refugees’ food basket and promote self-reliance.”
WFP has been providing food assistance to Bhutanese refugees living in camps in eastern Nepal since 1992. The original population of around 117,000 refugees has decreased steadily since 2007 as many have been resettled in other countries.
Donors have indicated they cannot maintain the regular support, as priorities have shifted to major refugee crises in other parts of the world.