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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

February 2024 Country Brief for WFP India

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Highlights

As part of the social behaviour change communication (SBCC) campaign on fortified rice in Bihar, a workshop was held in Patna on 16 February 2024. Eighty participants joined from media outlets, government agencies, institutions, and development partners. During the event, sessions were held to highlight the benefit of fortified rice and the progress made in the state in rolling out fortified rice across the government food-based social protection schemes.

Operational Updates

Social Protection and Supply Chain

  • WFP has accomplished the ambitious task of optimizing the supply chain for the Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS) for all states in India. Recognizing the diverse constraints in each state, WFP is now developing tailored tools to address state-specific challenges. One such tool was recently completed for Punjab state, offering a range of features with a user-friendly interface, which helps stakeholders to make informed decisions.
  • On February 20, WFP organized a workshop on “Evaluation Quality Assurance” to enhance the national monitoring and evaluation system. This workshop was part of EvalFest 2024, a conference that saw participation from over 250 speakers representing the Government of India, UN agencies, donors, academia, and civil society. WFP played a key role in the conference by sharing insights and expertise on strengthening the national monitoring and evaluation systems.

Nutrition and School Feeding

  • The fourth meeting of the technical advisory group on rice fortification was held to discuss the fortification standards and present the findings of the endline evaluation in Chandauli district of Uttar Pradesh. Forty-eight officials and experts attended the meeting, including senior officials from the Department of Food and Public Distribution and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India, academia, representatives from the technical support units, and development partners.
  • Trainings and sensitizations on rice fortification continued across the country. In Kerala, a master trainer pool was established, constituting of 134 officials from various departments. In Chandigarh, a public lecture was held in the Post Graduate Institute of Behavioural and Medical Sciences to raise awareness among 80 community medicine students and faculty. Furthermore, sensitization workshops were held in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand, training 296 school cooks, local and state level officials, quality controllers, and community childcare workers.
  • In Rajasthan, WFP is supporting the government to include fortified wheat flour in the school feeding programme. In February, the first production of 34 metric tonnes of fortified wheat flour was distributed to 38,000 students. To improve the understanding of wheat flour fortification, WFP also organized an online orientation session for 679 school head teachers.

FAQ

1. What was the focus of the workshop held in Patna in February?
The workshop focused on the SBCC campaign on fortified rice in Bihar and highlighted the progress in rolling out fortified rice across government food-based social protection schemes.

2. How many participants attended the workshop on “Evaluation Quality Assurance” organized by WFP?
Over 250 speakers representing various organizations participated in the workshop.

3. Which states in India have tailored tools developed by WFP to address state-specific challenges in the supply chain?
WFP has developed tailored tools for all states, with one recently completed for Punjab state.

Conclusion

The operational updates from WFP India in February 2024 showcase significant progress in social behaviour change communication campaigns, supply chain optimization, monitoring and evaluation systems, and nutrition interventions. The efforts to fortify rice and wheat flour, along with capacity-building initiatives, reflect a commitment to improving food security and nutrition in India.


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