WFP India Country Brief, April 2020

Situation Report
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WFP and the United Nations Development Programme (UNPD) prepared a joint proposal entitled "India's Response to COVID-19: Inclusive and scalable social protection system for immediate and sustained food, nutrition and livelihood security" for the UN COVID-19 Multi Partner Trust Fund. Together the agencies will support the newly vulnerable to access food and livelihoods and strengthen the outreach of government safety nets to ensure the right to food and to paid work.
The proposal was approved in May 2020, and each agency will receive US$ 1 million.

Jan Aapurti is a mobile application developed by WFP in association with the Government of Uttarakhand, which connects 12 million people to registered retailers in the state, thus providing access to doorstep delivery of essential commodities during the lockdown. The app also provides information on accessing government entitlements and on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Operational Updates

Promoting Access to Food

• WFP developed a price monitoring dashboard for 22 essential commodities across India. Using regularly reported government data, the dashboard covers 140 locations and indicates daily which prices have had the highest percent increase. WFP will soon roll-out statespecific food basket price monitoring on the dashboard.

• With WFP support, the Department of Food in Uttar Pradesh launched the implementation of National Portability which will allow migrants from 16 other states to avail their public distribution food entitlements from any Fair Price Shop in the state. It also allows Uttar Pradesh migrants in the other 16 states to do the same. This function was already under development prior to the COVID-19 crisis.

Improved Nutrition

• WFP conducted a session on supporting food security and nutrition during the COVID-19 pandemic for the Sphere India COVID-19 Academy, which is a joint initiative of UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), HCL Foundation and Sphere India. This session aimed to strengthen the capacity of frontline workers of civil society organisations.

• WFP continues to monitor the state and union territory adaptations to the implementation of take home rations and mid-day meals. WFP shared a report with recommendations to Ministries and partners.

• WFP developed standard operating procedures on food safety and hygiene, targeting the kitchen staff of community kitchens that are feeding vulnerable people. This was then disseminated to more than 2,000 frontline NGOs and civil society organisations for the national COVID-19 response.

• UNICEF and WFP released a joint statement to clarify agency work around food and nutrition responses during the COVID-19 response.

Evidence and Results Analysis

• Recruitment of a staff to second to the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) in NITI Aayog was completed. The WFP staff member will work with the team in developing a national evaluation policy, capacity strengthening and joint evaluations around food security and nutrition.

Disaster Risk Management

• WFP has initiated a partnership with SPHERE-India for the immediate COVID-19 response under the MultiPartner Trust Fund and for longer term work in strengthening national humanitarian response capacity.
WFP also formed a strategic partnership with a local NGO in Uttar Pradesh to use their network for capacity strengthening and communications, with an initial focus around the current crisis.