Nepal: Thousands in mid-west receive food aid and health care services

More than 10,000 people living in highly food insecure areas of Dailekh, Dolpa, Humla, Jumla and Mugu districts in mid-western Nepal received general and reproductive healthcare services from United Nation agencies between June and November this year.

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) had apart from food assistance provided the critical healthcare services to thousands of people living in some of the most remote and underdeveloped areas in Mid-Western Nepal, according to a release issued jointly by WFP and UNFPA today.

The food assistance distributed during this joint activity, the release said, is a part of WFP's ongoing efforts to reach 2.7 million Nepalese who are struggling to feed their families as a result of high food prices, the lingering effects of conflict, and natural disasters.

"WFP delivers food to the country's most isolated and underserved citizens in Nepal. When we ask people in these areas what they need the most, the answer is overwhelming food and medical care. So by partnering with UNFPA, we are able to immediately respond to their needs," said WFP's Country Representative, Richard Ragan in the release.

"There is an urgent need to provide reproductive health services in remote areas to address life-threatening concerns," said Ugochi Daniels, UNFPA Representative in Nepal, adding, "By partnering with WFP, we can extend the reach of our mobile healthcare clinics and provide thousands of women and children, who may have never seen a doctor before, with life-saving healthcare services.

The healthcare services provided in this initiative fall under UNFPA's "Delivery of Essential and Reproductive Health, Sexual and Gender Based Violence Screening and HIV/AIDS Awareness" project, the release added.

During the mobile clinics, health service providers examine, treat and carry out general check-ups, conduct minor emergency surgeries, provide services in reproductive health, and for uterine prolapse. Men and women visiting the health camps also receive medicines and are provided with education about nutrition, HIV/AIDS prevention and family planning. Women, who make-up over half of the beneficiaries, have the opportunity to receive gender-based violence counseling.

This is the third year that UNFPA, MoHP and WFP have conducted joint healthcare and food distribution camps in Mid-West Nepal. Approximately 20,000 people have received food and healthcare services as a part of this collaboration. ag Nov 19 08