On 18 June, WFP and the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi signed a strategic partnership to jointly develop sustainable models and innovative solutions that can be replicated across the country to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Government’s food-based safety nets. WFP will use advanced analytics and operational research to develop practical solutions that will support long term strategic planning of procurement, storage and movement of food grains within the supply chain.
Promoting Access to Food
• In partnership with Mission Shakti, Government of Odisha, WFP published the ‘Assessment of Women Self-Help Groups and Women Smallholder Farmers in Odisha’. The findings are now being used to define the specific areas of technical assistance and capacity strengthening for nearly 7 million women in the 700,000 women self-help groups in the state, by enabling them to access financial assistance, capacity strengthening and market linkages to enhance their livelihoods and incomes.
• In collaboration with the Department of Women and Child Development in Uttar Pradesh, WFP is supporting the development of new recipes for locally produced fortified blended take-home rations which are distributed to more than 16 million young children and pregnant and lactating women (PLW) through the Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) safety net across the state. WFP is also discussing plans to set-up decentralized production units for fortified blended foods.
• In Kerala, the Department of Women and Child Development has committed to continue the WFPinitiated project on rice fortification in Thaliparamba, using their own funds. The scale-up plan will be initiated soon with the support of the National Nutrition Mission in Kerala.
• The animated videos developed by WFP have been widely disseminated through the WFP India social media platforms and also through the social media websites of the Department of Women and Child Development, National Nutrition Mission, in Kerala.
• WFP developed several policy, advocacy and knowledge products in June, including: o A joint WFP-IFPRI blog post was published which focused on the current status of the school meals programme in the time of COVID-19, and the various implementation adaptations which were launched across the country. The blog also discussed potential impacts of these adaptations on nutrition and food security.
o In an article published in Outlook Poshan, the Heads of Agencies from WFP, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) jointly shared insights on six key areas of focus for the Government of India to take in order to ensure that the nutrition needs of vulnerable women and children are not compromised by COVID-19.
o WFP, IFPRI and Tata Trusts jointly published an article on “Integrating complementary food supplements at scale into national nutrition programmes: Insights from India”, which discusses the gaps in the current supplementary nutrition programme implemented by the ICDS scheme, and suggests key recommendations for its improvement.