India

WFP India Country Brief, January 2020

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WFP facilitated an inter-state learning visit of senior officials from the Government of Rajasthan to Kerala to learn about their decentralized production of fortified take-home rations (THR). Across India, THR is distributed to young children, under the Integrated Child Development Services scheme of the Government of India. WFP will begin working with the Government of Rajasthan in a number of areas, including production of THR, in 2020.

The second round of data collection to assess women’s selfhelp groups in Odisha was completed by WFP and the Mission Shakti, Directorate of Women’s Self-Help Groups, Government of Odisha. The findings on women’s access to finance, markets and income generating activities will provide the basis of WFP’s work with Mission Shakti over the next four years. This work will aim to improve the food security of more than 7 million households.

Operational Updates

Promoting Access to Food

• The solution designing phase for the Grain ATM project has now been completed, based on which, WFP has requested for a proposal to develop the solution. The Grain ATM is an innovative multicommodity dispensing machine that would provide access to full entitlement for beneficiaries of the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) safety net and is funded through the Innovation Accelerator Sprint Programme.

• Based on the recommendations of the WFP mission in December 2019, the Government of Uttarakhand accorded administrative approval for WFP collaboration.
WFP has been requested to extend technical support in optimizing the supply chain of the TPDS to reduce transportation costs while ensuring continuous availability of grains. WFP has also been requested to pilot the use of mobile storage units as an alternate mechanism for grain storage in areas frequented by natural disasters.

• WFP has been actively supporting the transformation and automation of the TPDS that provides access to food to nearly 800 million beneficiaries each month, across India.
To document the practices leading to efficiency gains and to develop a tool for cross learning, the Department of Food and Public Distribution, Government of India and WFP are jointly publishing a compendium of best practices selected from across the country.

Improved Nutrition

• WFP organized a session on ‘fortification as a strategy to reduce anaemia and micronutrient deficiencies’ at the Annual Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine Conference in Bhubaneswar, Odisha. Panellists included members from WFP, the National Institute of Nutrition in Hyderabad, and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India.

• Fortification of rice in the mid-day meals in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh continues with WFP producing 3,200 MT and supporting community awareness activities in 1,136 schools in January. WFP is now preparing for the end line evaluation data collection which will commence in February.

• The Government of Chhattisgarh has agreed to work with WFP to implement a holistic set of nutrition activities across the state. These will emphasize nutritional enhancement of the take home rations in the integrated child development scheme (ICDS), as well as fortification of rice in the public distribution system under the Central Sector Scheme on rice fortification.

• In Kannur district of Kerala, WFP produced 28.3 MT of fortified rice for use in the ICDS, reaching 13,000 children aged 3-6 years in Anganwadi centres, which are child health care centres found in all rural areas of India. WFP also sensitized Anganwadi workers on the production and use of fortified rice. In addition, WFP’s monitoring of this fortified rice found no acceptability issues.

South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC)

• WFP and the Chhattisgarh State Center for Climate Change have exchanged a letter of intent to collaborate on the climate change agenda. WFP will extend technical support in finalizing the State Action Plan on Climate Change (SAPCC).

Evidence & Results Analysis

• WFP participated in the development partners’ meeting organized by the Development Monitoring and Evaluation Office (DMEO) in NITI Aayog and will sign the statement of intent with DMEO next month.

• WFP initiated an independent impact evaluation of the ICT-enabled training tool for cooks and helpers in the government mid-day meals programmes in Varanasi (UP) and Dhenkanal (Odisha).