The World Food Programme has claimed that it never distributed inedible and substandard food to earthquake victims in Nepal.
In a reply to a parliamentary sub-committee’s report, the UN food agency stated that some pulses and rice procured through local suppliers turned out to be low quality, but ‘they were not not distributed to quake victims’.
The WFP responded on the panel’s report through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday. Attaching the House panel’s report, MoFA had asked the WFP to clarify on the matter.
According to Acting Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi, the WFP, in its response, has stated that inedible rice found in Kavre and Gorkha as well as substandard pulses found in Nepalgunj were segregated for the replacement. “The WFP has also mentioned that action has been taken against at least one contractor that had supplied the items,” Biaragi told THT.
Nevertheless, the parliamentary sub-panel under the National Disaster Management Monitoring and Direction Special Committee, based on its field visits in various godowns of the WFP, had concluded that rice and pulses procured and even distributed by the WFP in certain quake-hit districts, including Kavre and Gorkha, were ‘unfit for human consumption’.
Test conducted by Nepal’s Food Technology and Quality Control Department had also found some rice distributed by WFP in Kavre and pulses kept at WFP warehouse in Nepalgunj inedible.