Nepal Today

Sunday, August 23, 2009

WFP threat to pullout from Nepal

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 23 Aug: Amid a threat to pullout from the Himalayan state facing severe food shortage and spiraling prices, UN World Food Programme (WFP) has asked government to prove charges the agency was distributing contaminated food that created a cholera epidemic in mid and far-West Nepal killing more than 300 persons.
The agency that distributed food worldwide asked the Government of Nepal to prove the charge made not by the government but by a NGO funded by western governments.
“I reiterate that we are confident that our food meets the quality standards required by the government, If the government of Nepal concludes that our food doesn’t meet the requirement then we are willing to suspend our operations,’ WFP Nepal chief said in a statement.
If the threat is executed, it will affect 26 million people in South Asia.
Government hasn’t responded to the UN threat.
In effect, UN has asked government to bail it out of serious charges leveled by INSEC heavily funded by western donors.
“WFP is more than happy to prove our testing procedures and results public through the government of Nepal since they are extensively involved in testing our food,” the statement added.
Government has been drawn into the controversy because the UN agency claims the testing was done by government-owned and operated Nepal Food Corporation.
WFP said testing was also done by a private agency before food distribution.
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