WFP to launch peace, recovery program in Nepal

KATHMANDU, Jun 29, 2007 (Xinhua via COMTEX) -- The United Nations World Food Program (WFP) is planning to launch a yearlong Peace and Recovery Program worth 3.25 billion rupees (around 50 million U.S. dollars) to support the ongoing Nepali peace process, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported on Friday.

"The goal of the program is to provide quick-impact assistance to people who are living in areas badly affected by the conflict," said Richard F. Ragan, WFP representative in Nepal, adding "we believe that the projects would be able to provide a tangible peace dividend that will restore people's faith in the new government."

This will be one of the largest donor-funded programs to be implemented in Nepal in the post-conflict period in a bid to help the peace process.

Under the program, 1.26 million conflict-affected people of 28 districts, primarily mid and far western regions out of Nepal's total 75 districts, would be provided food assistance, helping to create an atmosphere conducive for promoting rehabilitation of displaced people and supporting reconstruction and peace process.

"Special initiatives will be placed on targeting marginalized and vulnerable groups including women, children, ethnic minorities and indigenous people," Ragan said.

The program is divided into three categories -- critical infrastructure, return and reintegration and non-formal education.