WFP extends food security assistance to the royal government of Bhutan for COVID-19 response
THIMPHU - WFP has donated two mobile storage units in support of the Royal Government of Bhutan COVID-19 preparedness and response. The facility will be used to help authorities preposition food to meet the needs of half the population for three months.
The storage units, with a capacity of 500 MT each and worth a total of USD 45,000, are part of a technical assistance package provided to the Government as the country faces an imminent emergency due to the pandemic.
“The Royal Government has taken a proactive approach to address the emergency, which is putting increased pressure on the country’s health system as well as food security,” said Svante Helms, Head of Office, WFP Bhutan. “WFP is pleased to extend our support at this critical time to protect the population, especially the most vulnerable, against potential shocks such as decreased access to affordable and nutritious food amidst the growing unemployment rate and lost/reduced wages.”
In addition, WFP’s technical assistance package submitted to the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests and the Department of Disaster Management includes:
- Regional food price monitoring
Assist the Ministry of Economic Affairs analyze food price level trends across Asia with a focus on Indian states from where Bhutan imports food.
- Prepositioning of food
Provide analysis of storage locations and storage requirements, and the handover of WFP mobile storage units.
- Targeting of food
Reach the most vulnerable people using the 72-hour rapid assessment platform which uses GIS to generate geo-referenced maps for vulnerability assessment analysis and visualization to target and guide food distribution.
- National Food Security Reserve (NFSR)
Develop a storage and replenishment model to link immediate prepositioning of food to longer-term NFSR and ensure rollover of food to the national school feeding programme and other public institutions to minimize waste of food.
- Food safety and quality
Ensure food is properly stored with no spoilt and adulterated items while maintaining its nutritional value during storage and distribution.
WFP Bhutan is also looking into a nutrition technical assistance package for school children to ensure their nutritional needs are met and is in discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests to explore support towards farmer organizations, production and market linkages.
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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.
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