Nepal

Nepal: Humla reeling under alarming food crisis

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World Food Programme (WFP) has said nearly 75 percent of the population in Humla is under the grip of high level of food insecurity.

According to a fresh study carried out by WFP, more than 64 percent of the population in Bajura is facing acute food insecurity.

Other districts reeling under a high level of food insecurity include Mugu, Kalikot, Jumla, Dolpa, Dailekh, Rukum, Achham, Doti, Bajhang, Baitadi, Okhaldhunga, Khotang, and Udayapur.

The study report said, "Across Nepal, the population of moderately, highly and severely food insecure is estimated by WFP to be 3.6 million, out of which the food insecure population in the Mid and Far-west hill and mountain districts account for 600,000."

According to it, at these levels of food insecurity households consume a poor and inadequate diet and are undertaking severe and often irreversible coping strategies such as reducing the size of the meals, preferring less preferred food, heavy borrowing and selling of assets.

The District Food Security Networks identified a total of 442,000 people (409,200 in the Mid and Far-west hill and mountain districts) as highly food insecure residing in areas classified as phase 3.

The food security situation in the Mid and Far Western Hill and Mountain districts is alarming: winter crop production of wheat and barley were severely affected by localised natural disasters during the pre-harvesting period in late March-April.

Likewise, the study revealed that above 50 percent of the production were lost due to drought, heavy snowfall and hailstorm in the districts such as Bajura, Achham, Humla, Mugu, Kalikot, Rukum and Dailekh.

Six VDCs in Upper Dolpa became highly food insecure as households depleted their food stock and could not replenish their food supply.

Households in this area were particularly affected by the death of more than 200 yaks in a snow avalanche in February 2010.

Additionally, Yarchagumba (medicinal herb) collection was reportedly reduced by 40 percent in the district.