24October 2016: UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) has donated £ 1.5 million to the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) for rebuilding remote trails in Nepal without which food security will be at risk in certain earthquake-affected districts of the country.
The targeted trails, leading to hard-to-access villages in Dhading, Gorkha, and Rasuwa districts, were affected by last year’s devastating earthquakes.
The fund, which comes to nearly A$ 2.5 million, will be used to rehabilitate six trails extending to 129 kilometres, WFP said in a press release today. It will also be used to carry out assessment on further six trails – another158 kilometres.
“The new trails will be built to withstand seasonal landslides as well as future earthquakes. The project will directly or indirectly benefit approximately 55,175 people living in the mountainous areas of Dhading, Gorkha, and Rasuwa,” WFP Nepal further added.
“Nearly 18 months ago, the devastating earthquakes destroyed trails and roads in large swathes of rural Nepal – and the effects are still being felt today,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Nepal Representative and Country Director. “WFP knows that access to trails helps communities reach markets and social services, and is inextricably linked to food security and economic development.”
“Investing in rural access, including with foot trails and bridges, is fundamental for the reconstruction effort in some of the most difficult to reach earthquake affected areas” Gail Marzetti, Head of DFID Nepal, was quoted as saying.
WFP claims to have actively worked in trail reconstruction throughout its “long history” in the Himalayan nation.
According to the UN body, it has either reopened or rehabilitated around 880 kilometres of trails since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit the landlocked country in April 2015. These reworked trails meant access to 130,000 people who live in far-flung areas, WFP said in the press release.