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"On my part, I remain committed to the process of dialogue. It is my firm belief that dialogue and a willingness to look with honesty and clarity at the reality of Tibet can lead us to a viable solution."

Nepalese at risk of starvation: WFP

June 27, 2008

Press Trust of India (PTI)
June 25, 2008

Kathmandu, June 25 (PTI) -- Hundreds of thousands of Nepalese in
desperate need of food aid, particularly those suffering from severe
drought in the Himalayan state's far-west, are at risk of starvation.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) said strikes and shutdowns in the
country has limited its ability to provide vital humanitarian
assistance to hundreds of thousands of Nepalis in desperate need of
food aid. It has resulted in suspension of its food deliveries to the needy.

"I urge all parties to work together to resolve this crisis so that
the trucks and fuel needed to carry WFP humanitarian food assistance
to drought and conflict-affected populations, and vulnerable women
and children can be made available so that WFP can continue its
efforts to protect the lives of vulnerable families across Nepal,"
Richard Ragan, WFP country representative to Nepal, said in a statement.

There has been severe food scarcity in the country's northern
districts due to China restricting movement at its border with Nepal
in order to check anti-Beijing protests in Kathmandu.

Mustang, depending entirely on Tibet for its food and ration
supplies, has been reeling under a virtual famine since the Chinese
authorities restricted the movement of Nepalese citizens at Chhoser,
the border check point, officials earlier said.

Situated at a high altitude in Himalayas, Mustang does not have a
direct road link with Kathmandu. Earlier, locals used to cross the
Tibetan border to get their daily ration and other supplies and it
worked well till last month.

Since last month, according to officials, China has halted issuing
visas to visitors from Nepal and imposed restrictions on local
Nepalese who used to cross the border for supplies. Reports earlier
said that residents of north eastern Nepal's Taplejung district also
faced one of their worst food crisis after China sealed its border. PTI
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