United Nations
Information Centre | Nepal
WFP Nepal Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping (VAM) Bulletin No. 2 ( March 2004 )
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The lean season is in its most difficult months in the chronically food insecure districts of Nepal. Production from the harvests of the last quarter of 2003 has been mostly consumed and many households will traditionally suffer food shortages until the next harvests in April /May 2004. As the lean season advances, coping indices show a deterioration in household level food security as compared to previous months in most of the survey districts while local conditions have also created some difficult situations. Northern VDCs of Dailekh, for example, are said to be facing difficult circumstances following low maize production caused by heavy rainfall and windstorms in October 2003 and current wheat production also below normal levels due to inadequate rainfall. However, food availability, in general terms, does not appear to be significantly worse than usual at this time of year.
A fifteen day blockade by Maoists, which began in early March, is having a strong impact with shortages of basic commodities and price increases commonly reported in most districts of the western region. This blockade was extended to some district headquarters in the mid and far western regions in the third week of March. Feedback from the districts suggests that these blockades may be further prolonged.
Mobility of people and goods into and within districts remains subject to locally announced restrictions. The overall situation has been significantly exacerbated by the current blockade and varies from district to district. Almost one third of the WFP monitors are also restricted in their movements as a result of the blockades. In some districts, such as Dailekh and Rolpa, businessmen need permission from district administration to move food items to the rural areas. However, within rural areas food movement is often reported to be unrestricted. In Sindhupalchok, food items such as beaten rice, biscuits and noodles, are reported not to be allowed to move from the district headquarters to the interior parts by the security forces. Similarly, locally grown foods are often not allowed by the Maoists to be taken to district headquarters. With the exception of the recent impact of the blockades, mobility of people does not appear to be widely restricted but the Maoist system of passes, visas and permission is compulsory in almost all of the survey districts where they have influence.
Development agencies are coming under more consistent pressure from Maoists in many districts, but particularly from the mid western region, to officially coordinate their activities with the insurgents at the field level. A Maoist NGO coordination unit is reported to have been established in Surkhet. This is widespread but has been strictly requested in districts such as Rolpa and Kalikot.
Seasonal migration to India has started slowing down with less than 4,000 people recorded as having migrated through Nepalgunj border point between mid January to mid March 2004. This represents a 75% reduction as compared to the last quarter of 2003. Most out-migrants still site regular economic reasons for their movement while 5 of 20 interviewed migrants reported insecurity as the main reason. Some out migrants were seen to be returning to Nepal in accordance with their regular seasonal cycles. Lower than normal wage rates in India were reported as one reason for early return.
WFP ,   (2004 )
Type / Script:
Bulletin or Poster in English
Thematic Group:
 WFP : Food and Emergency humanitarian logistict support
10.01.00  -  Food And Nutrition
Reference Link:
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