(Press Trust of India, Kathmandu, July 1) : The UN today rejected local media reports that the World Food Programme has distributed substandard food to the survivors of the April 25 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in Nepal.
“It is totally wrong and nonsense to make allegations by the local media here that the WFP had distributed substandard foods to the earthquake affected people,” John Ging, director of Coordination and Response Division of the United Nations, Office of the Humanitarian Affairs, said.
“The food distributed by the WFP were thoroughly checked before distributing them and maintained high standard,” Ging said while talking to media before wrapping up his three-day visit to Nepal.
Ging met top officials of Nepal including Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bamdev Gautam, Finance Minister Ramsharan Mahat, Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and discussed matters relating to United Nations relief operations in Nepal and post earthquake reconstruction.
Ging said that 2.1 million people in Nepal received food supply under the UN’s humanitarian assistance and temporary shelters were provided to 1.8 million people who were rendered homeless after the earthquakes.
The UN has accorded top priority to supply food, shelter and other necessary materials to the earthquake affected people in the wake of the upcoming monsoon season, he said.
Ging also welcomed the move of the Nepal’s political parties to speed up the task of drafting the constitution by forging agreement among them on key issues.
He also expressed satisfaction over the overwhelming response shown by the international communities, who pledged USD 4.4 billion for Nepal’s reconstruction during the recently concluded donors conference held in Kathmandu.
He asked the government to clear bureaucratic barriers by making the customs clearance of the relief materials speedy and not charging taxes on relief materials.
It is against international norms to charge tax on donations received from the international donors at the time of such a disaster, he pointed out.