KATHMANDU: The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC)Â of Nepal has confirmed that the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) andÂ the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRSC) supplied inedible rice to the earthquakeÂ victims in Nepal and asked the Nepalese government to take the necessary actionÂ against the international humanitarian organisations.
The NHRC, during its inspection, found the rice distributed to earthquakeÂ victims in Kavre district to be of substandard quality and unsuitable for humanÂ consumption, the NHRC said in a statement Tuesday.
The NHRC inspected the food items distributed by the Nepal Red CrossÂ Society, which was made available by the WFP, following reports that childrenÂ who ate the rice suffered from diarrhoea.
“NHRC draws the attention of the government to punish the institutionsÂ involved in distributing substandard food that has direct connection with theÂ health and life of the people,” NHRC said.
The WFP, too, has accepted that the food it supplied was found to beÂ substandard.
“At least 120 tonnes of rice it brought as relief for Nepalâ€™s earthquakeÂ victims were found to be substandard and were replaced immediately,” said theÂ WFP.
The rice was procured from local suppliers of Nepal and India and over 30Â per cent was found broken during the investigation, Richard Regan, WFP emergencyÂ coordinator, told a press conference Tuesday.
Some earthquake victims of Kavre complained that the rice distributed by theÂ UN agency was not edible, which prompted Nepalese authorities and NHRC toÂ conduct an inspection of the rice and other food items distributed to theÂ victims.
The government has instructed authorities in all earthquake affectedÂ districts to inspect and monitor the quality of food items to be distributed toÂ the quake victims.
Nepal was hit by a strong earthquake on April 25 and a powerful aftershockÂ on May 12 that killed at least 8,600 people and damaged almost half a millionÂ private houses and public buildings.
The UN said about eight million people in Nepal have been affected by theÂ earthquake, of which 1.4 million require food aid. –-BERNAMA