WFP India Country Brief, August 2020

Situation Report
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Working with the Global Child Nutrition Foundation, Akshaya Patra, IPE Global and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF), WFP organized a two-part interactive webinar series around school meals during COVID-19. The first seminar took place on 28 August and focused on impact of COVID-19 on school meals and governments’ responses to meet the nutritional requirements of the children during school closures. The keynote speaker was Dr. Don Bundy, Professor of Epidemiology and Development at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Operational Updates

Promoting Access to Food

• WFP is working to build the capacity of national civil society organisations in the preparation, planning and implementation of humanitarian food assistance under the UN COVID-19 Multi Partner Trust Fund.
Besides providing support on procurement and warehouse planning, WFP guided national NGO,
SAMARTH, in establishing beneficiary identification criteria – including a profiling format to identify vulnerable groups based on age, gender, disability, migrant status, chronic ailments, etc. Working together, WFP and SAMARTH also developed COVIDspecific guidelines and checklists to plan for and select food distribution sites focusing on safety, access and comfort to all, staggered timings to prevent crowding and establishing procedures for reporting genderbased violence.

Improved Nutrition

• WFP completed its pilot on rice fortification used in the Government’s Mid-day Meals scheme in Varanasi District, Uttar Pradesh. Since December 2018, 4,145 mt of fortified rice has been produced and fed to 300,000 school children. The end-line evaluation is being finalized and discussions for handover of the project to the Government are ongoing.

• Following a request from the Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihoods Mission, WFP has prepared a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for providing technical assistance to state government and women’s self-help groups to produce fortified blended food for use in the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme. The project will establish 204 production units in 18 districts with WFP managing two ‘model’ demonstration units in Unnao and Fatehpur districts. When finished, more than 3.3 million young children and pregnant and lactating women will benefit from the project.

• In collaboration with the Global Health Strategies, a company that leverages communications and advocacy to help organizations bring comprehensive change to international health and development, WFP shared its experience in implementing nutrition interventions in Uttar Pradesh through high-level consultations with the Health Minister of Uttar Pradesh and with State Government officials.