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2008 was a year marked by unprecedented food price increases across the country. At peak prices, rice increased by 24 percent, oil by 30 percent, wheat flour by 18 percent, and musuro (lentil) by 40percent compared to last year.
The major causes of price increase during 2008 include: high reliance on imports during a year of rapidly rising global food prices, the 2007 Indian export ban on key food commodities, high transportation costs, reduced road access caused by natural disasters, civil unrest, and poor base stocks of food.
Domestic cost drivers resulted in particularly high food prices,year-on-year food and beverage inflation in Nepal was approximately 17 percent, compared to approximately 10 percent food inflation in India.
A joint study by WFP and NDRI. It addresses the questions, why and how people migrate. It explores the benefits as well as the risks associated with migration and identifies major migration routes and potential high risk areas for HIV and AIDS. Based on the findings, recommendations were made for various strategies which could be implemented by WFP and other organizations in order to minimize the risks of migration and to provide people with alternatives. The publication is available both in English as well as in Nepali.
An estimated 66,500 people have been displaced in Sunsari and Saptari due to flood. Approximately 42 percent are of Indian origin.
About one third of the affected population is Muslim. Eighteen percent are Dalit. Only 35 percent have so far received a government identity card.
Improvements in the shelter situation are of utmost importance. Camps are overcrowded, poorly maintained and more than half of the displaced people report that their current shelter provides insufficient protection against the weather.
Reports were received in June 2008 of severe food insecurity in the Hill and Mountain districts in the Mid- and Far-Western Development regions, due to crop failures caused by recurrent natural disasters.
These areas were reportedly suffering from severe food insecurity in spite of generally good production at the national level.
In response, a joint rapid assessment was designed and conducted in nine affected districts.
The food security assessment included identification of highly and severely food insecure VDCs and an overall estimation of population at risk.
• Approximately 2.5 million people in rural Nepal are in immediate need of food assistance. These people are highly vulnerable to food price increases and already have very low food intake levels.
• An additional 3.9 million people in rural Nepal are at risk of becoming food insecure due to increasing food prices.
• In urban areas 525,000 vulnerable poor are at risk. The total of 67,000 people may require immediate emergency support. This is best done through providing targeted subsidized food programmes with limited duration or through a non-food based response. The remaining 458,000 people need to be carefully monitored in case further price increases have a broader impact.