WFP Nepal Country Brief, March 2020


In Numbers

4.6 million food-insecure people

1.4 million malnourished pregnant and lactating women

US$ 1.57 million, six-month (Apr - Sept 2020) net funding requirements

160,698 children received WFP school meals in March 2020.

Situational Updates

• As of 31 March, Nepal had five confirmed cases (4 live; 1 recovered) of COVID-19. The country has been on a national lockdown since 24 March with all movement on the roads, by vehicle and on foot, strictly prohibited with very limited exceptions. Emergency responders, security forces, and UN staff are exempt. Nepal also closed its borders and introduced a complete travel ban for all domestic and international flights till at least 30 April.

• The national lockdown has impacted WFP operations across the country; however, WFP is doing its utmost to minimize disruption and continue to reach vulnerable populations in Nepal.

Operational Updates

• WFP commenced the three-year Japan-funded support to the school feeding programme in March. Under this programme, WFP will strengthen the capacity of both governments and schools with the aim of increasing the effectiveness of the Government’s cash-based school feeding programme in Nuwakot district. In addition, the project will also work towards improving nutrition in schools while adjusting the implementation modality to a home-grown school feeding approach.

• COVID-19 caused no recorded disruptions to the school feeding programme, as schools usually close around March, as per the Nepali calendar. WFP is developing a contingency plan with its cooperating partners in case schools must remain shut for more than two months.

• WFP continued to provide technical assistance to provincial governments in the Karnali region to support the smooth implementation of the mother and child health and nutrition programme until the nation-wide lockdown, which forced activities to come to a halt. WFP is working closely with the Government and other stakeholders to design an appropriate strategy that will ensure continuity of the programme.