This edition of the Quarterly Bulletin for WFP in India covers a period marked by the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. It showcases WFP response to the surge, update on a new partnership with the Government of Odisha; ongoing support to the One Nation One Ration Card campaign; improving the functioning of the Targeted Public Distribution System; enhancing nutrition through Take Home Ration production units that empower the women in the community; awareness campaigns on safe food distribution, prevention of gender-based violence given the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scroll down for more
RESPONDING TO COVID-19 WITH FOCUS ON FOOD AND NUTRITION
The second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed India in the April-June quarter. Most states went into lockdowns or preventive restrictions, impacting the livelihood and food situation of the poor and marginalised already reeling under the impact of the first wave.
The Government of India responded swiftly by announcing adaptations to the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) that routinely provides highly subsidized food grains to two-thirds of the population (813 million people). These included advance allocations, longer hours for the Fair Price Shops, additional rations at no cost, and specific provisions for migrants.
WFP in India continues to align its existing programmes and seek new partnerships to respond to the fallouts of the pandemic on food and nutritional security.
Several high-level engagements were initiated with development, corporate and private partners to explore short and long-term responses with WFP on the food and nutritional needs with the worsening of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. These were well received and WFP hopes for concrete partnerships going forward.
WFP continues to extend technical support to the Department of Food and Public Distribution (DFPD) and Food Corporation of India (FCI) for scale-up and distribution of fortified rice under Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) and Mid-day Meal (MDM) schemes across the country.
WFP continues to support states and National Governments to improve their COVID-19 response by filling the critical evidence gaps.
The NITI Aayog, a public policy think tank of the Government of India, has recognised WFP’s support and contribution around specific government schemes, particularly around nutrition and evidence generation for analysis and monitoring.