Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

The nutrition-hygiene link

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Environmental enteropathy

Mains level : Paper 2- Addressing the nutrition problem through WASH

Context

A recent UNICEF report stated that nearly 12 lakh children could die in low-income countries in the next six months due to a decrease in routine health services and an increase in wasting. Nearly three lakh such children would be from India.

Problem of nutrition in India and factors responsible for it

  • The National Family Health Survey (NFHS 5) indicates that since the onset of the pandemic, acute undernourishment in children below the age of five has worsened.
  • According to the latest data, 37.9 per cent of children under five are stunted, and 20.8 per cent are wasted — a form of malnutrition in which children are too thin for their height.
  • Comparison with other countries: This is much higher than in other developing countries where, on average, 25 per cent of children suffer from stunting and 8.9 per cent are wasted.
  • Factors: Inadequate dietary intake is the most direct cause of undernutrition.
  • Several other factors also affect nutritional outcomes, such as contaminated drinking water, poor sanitation, and unhygienic living conditions.
  • According to the World Health Organisation, 50 per cent of all mal- and under-nutrition can be traced to diarrhoea and intestinal worm infections.
  • Nutrition and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are intricately linked, and changes in one tend, directly or indirectly, to affect the other.
  • Poor hygiene and sanitation in developing countries lead to a sub-clinical condition called “environmental enteropathy” in children.
  • Environmental enteropathy is a disorder of the intestine which prevents the proper absorption of nutrients, rendering them effectively useless.
  • Childhood diarrhoea is a major public health problem in low- and middle-income countries, leading to high mortality in children under five.
  • According to NFHS 4, approximately 9 percent of children under five years of age in India experience diarrhoeal disease.

Way forward

  • Investment in WASH: The link between WASH and nutrition suggests that greater attention to, and investments in, WASH are a sure-shot way of bolstering the country’s nutritional status.
  • Addressing nutrition sanitation problems together: Both WASH and nutrition must be addressed together through a lens of holistic, sustainable community engagement to enable long-term impact.
  • One of the first instances of the link between WASH and nutrition appeared in the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989, which urges states to ensure “adequate nutritious foods and clean drinking water” to combat disease and malnutrition.
  • Safe drinking water, proper sanitation, and hygiene can significantly reduce diarrhoeal and nutritional deaths.
  • Multistructural approach: What we require is a coordinated, multisectoral approach among the health, water, sanitation, and hygiene bodies, not to mention strong community engagement.
  • WHO has estimated that access to proper water, hygiene, and sanitation can prevent the deaths of at least 8,60,000 children a year caused by undernutrition.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, all sides are working towards a common goal: A safe and healthy population and the hope that the 75th year of Independence becomes a watershed moment in India’s journey.

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Biofortified food can lead India from food security to nutrition security

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Food fortification

Mains level : Paper 3- Nutrition security through food fortification

Context

On August 15, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that, by 2024, rice provided to the poor under any government scheme — PDS, mid-day-meal, anganwadi — will be fortified.

Need for nutrition security in India

  • 15.3 per cent of the country’s population is undernourished.
  • India has the highest proportion of “stunted” (30 per cent) and “wasted” children (17.3 per cent) below five years of age, as per the FAO’s recent publication, ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World, 2021’.
  • These figures indicate that India is at a critical juncture with respect to nutritional security.
  • Other factors: Other factors like poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation, low levels of immunization and education, especially of women, contribute equally to this dismal situation.

India’s journey towards nutrition security

  • As per the ICAR website, they had developed 21 varieties of biofortified staples including wheat, rice, maize, millets, mustard, groundnut by 2019-20.
  • These varieties are not genetically modified.
  • These biofortified crops have 1.5 to 3 times higher levels of protein, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids compared to the traditional varieties.
  • A research team at the National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute in Mohali has also developed biofortified colored wheat (black, blue, purple) that is rich in zinc and anthocyanins.
  • The HarvestPlus program of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has been working closely with ICAR, to improve the access of the poor in India to iron-rich pearl millet and zinc-rich wheat.
  • Globally, more than 40 countries have released biofortified crops, benefitting over 48 million people.
  • Leveraging science to attack the complex challenge of malnutrition, particularly for low-income and vulnerable sections of society, can be a good intervention.

Challenges in securing nutrition security

  • Access to nutritious food is only one of the determinants of nutrition.
  • Other factors like poor access to safe drinking water and sanitation, low levels of immunization and education, especially of women, contribute equally to this dismal situation.
  • Need for a multi-pronged approach: In the long run, India needs a multi-pronged approach to eliminate the root cause of this complex problem.

Way forward: Multi-pronged approach

1) Focus on mother’s education

  • There is a direct correlation between a mother’s education and the well-being of children.
  • Targeted programs for improving the educational status of girls and reducing school dropout rates need to be promoted.
  • The Global Nutrition Report (2014) estimates that every dollar invested in a proven nutrition program offers benefits worth 16 dollars.

2) Scale-up innovation in biofortified food by supporting policies

  • Innovations in biofortified food can alleviate malnutrition only when they are scaled up with supporting policies.
  • This would require increasing expenditure on agri-R&D and incentivizing farmers by linking their produce to lucrative markets through sustainable value chains and distribution channels.
  • The government can also rope in the private sector to create a market segment for premium-quality biofortified foods.
  •  For instance, trusts run by the TATA group are supporting different states to initiate fortification of milk with Vitamin A and D. 

3) National awareness drive

  • A national awareness drive on the lines of the “Salt Iodisation Programme” launched by the government in 1962 can play an important role at the individual and community levels to achieve the desired goals of poshan for all. 
  • Branding, awareness campaigns, social and behavioral change initiatives, can promote the consumption of locally available, nutrient-dense affordable foods among the poor and children.

Consider the question” Access to nutritious food is only one of the determinants of nutrition, and fortified food can play important role in this direction. Suggest the other measures to ensure nutrition safety in India.” 

Conclusion

Biofortified food is a step in the right direction, however, other factors should also be given equal attention in securing national security in India.

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Centre to give 5 kg foodgrains free to poor

The Central Government announced that 5kg of free wheat or rice per monthwill be provided to around 80 crore people for the next two months, May and June.

Major Highlights:

  • This will be extended to beneficiaries under the National Food Security Act(NFSA).
  • Nearly 8 million tonnes of food grains will be distributed under this scheme.
  • The scheme is expected to bring relief to NFSA beneficiaries as it will be in addition to the regular entitlement of 5kg highly subsidised foodgrains to each beneficiary at Rs 3, 2 and 1 per kg of rice, wheat and coarse grains.

Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY):

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana is a food security welfare schemeannounced by the Government of India in March 2020.
  • PM-GKAY is a part of Atma Nirbhar Bharat to supply free food grains to migrants and poor.
  • The program is operated by the Department of Food and Public Distributionunder the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

Aim:

  • To feed the poorest citizens of India by providing grain through the Public Distribution System to all the priority households (ration card holders and those identified by the Antyodaya Anna Yojana scheme).
  • PMGKAY provides 5 kg of rice or wheat (according to regional dietary preferences) per person/month and 1 kg of dal to each family holding a ration card.

Eligibility/ Beneficiaries:

  • Families belonging to the Below Poverty Line – Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY) and Priority Households (PHH) categories will be eligible for the scheme.
  • PHH are to be identified by State Governments/Union Territory Administrations as per criteria evolved by them.
  • AAY families are to be identified by States/UTs as per the criteria prescribed by the Central Government:
    • Households headed by widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more with no assured means of subsistence or societal support.
    • Widows or terminally ill persons or disabled persons or persons aged 60 years or more or single women or single men with no family or societal support or assured means of subsistence.
    • All primitive tribal households.
    • Landless agriculture labourers, marginal farmers, rural artisans/craftsmen such as potters, tanners, weavers, blacksmiths, carpenters, slum dwellers, and persons earning their livelihood on daily basis in the informal sector like porters, coolies, rickshaw pullers, hand cart pullers, fruit and flower sellers, snake charmers, rag pickers, cobblers, destitute and other similar categories in both rural and urban areas.
    • All eligible Below Poverty Line families of HIV positive persons.

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Agri Ministry questions Global Hunger reports’ methodology

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : GHI

Mains level : Poverty and Hunger

Union Minister of State for Agriculture has questioned the methodology and data accuracy of the Global Hunger Index (GHI) report, which has placed India at 94th (out of 107 countries) rank in 2020.

About GHI

  • GHI is a peer-reviewed annual report, jointly published by Concern Worldwide, an Ireland-based humanitarian group, and Welthungerhilfe, a Germany-based NGO.
  • It is designed to comprehensively measure and track hunger at the global, regional, and country levels.
  • It says the aim of publishing the report is to trigger action to reduce hunger around the world.
  • According to the GHI website, the data for the indicators come from the United Nations and other multilateral agencies, including the World Health Organisation and the World Bank.

Various indicators used

  1. UNDERNOURISHMENT: the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient);
  2. CHILD WASTING: the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, who have low weight for their height, reflecting acute undernutrition);
  3. CHILD STUNTING: the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, who have low height for their age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and
  4. CHILD MORTALITY: the mortality rate of children under the age of five (in part, a reflection of the fatal mix of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments).

What is the concern?

  • India was ranked below countries such as Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar when it was among the top 10 food-producing countries in the world.

Actual scenario

  • The Comprehensive National Nutrition Survey (CNNS) compiled in 2017-18 showed an improvement of 4%, 3.7% and 2.3% in wasted, stunted and malnourished children respectively.
  • The first-ever CNNS was commissioned by the government in 2016 and was conducted from 2016-18, led by the Union Health Ministry, in collaboration with the UNICEF.
  • The findings were published in 2019. CNNS includes only nutrition data, whereas NFHS encompasses overall health indicators.

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Food Waste Index Report 2021

The Food Waste Index Report 2021 was recently released by the UNEP.

Even though the world produces enough food to feed twice the world’s present population, food wastage is ironically behind the billions of people who are starving.

Food Waste Index

  • The Food Waste Index is released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and partner organisation WRAP.
  • It measures tons of wasted food per capita, considering a mixed stream of products from processing through to consumption.
  • It was prepared by using data from 54 countries and then extrapolated to the remaining countries.
  • Contrary to belief, the study by the UNEP revealed that food waste was a global problem and not that of just the developed world.

Highlights of the 2021 report

  • The report has revealed that 17 per cent of all food available at consumer levels was wasted in 2019.
  • That year, some 690 million people had to go hungry.
  • The food waste amounted to a whopping 931 million tonnes of food sold to households, retailers and restaurants.
  • Waste at household, foodservice and retail amounted to 79, 26 and 13 kilogram /capita / year respectively.
  • The data, though scarce, revealed that food waste was substantial, regardless of income level.

Data on India

  • The report notes that food waste at the consumer level happens in almost every country, regardless of income level.
  • In South Asia, while 50 kilograms of food is wasted per person each year at the household level in India.
  • Others include- 65 kilograms of this happening in Bangladesh, 74 kilograms in Pakistan, 76 kilograms in Sri Lanka, 79 kilograms in Nepal and 82 kilograms in Afghanistan.

Why it is important to prevent food wastage?

  • Food waste also has a substantial environmental, social and economic impact.
  • Food loss and waste cause about $940 billion per year in economic losses. Reductions can save money for farmers, companies, and households.
  • For example, 8-10 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions are associated with food that is not consumed.
  • Reducing food waste would cut greenhouse gas emissions, slow the destruction of nature through land conversion and pollution, enhance the availability of food and thus reduce hunger and save money.

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World Food Price Index

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAO Food Price Index

Mains level : Poverty and Hunger

World food prices rose for a seventh consecutive month in December 2020, with all the major categories, barring sugar, said the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (UN-FAO).

Try this PYQ:

Q.Which one of the following is not a sub-index of the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Index’? (CSP 2019)

(a) Maintenance of law and order

(b) Paying taxes

(c) Registering property

(d) Dealing with construction permits

World Food Price Index

  • The FAO Food Price Index is a measure of the monthly change in international prices of a basket of food commodities.
  • It consists of the average of five commodity group price indices [cereal, vegetable, dairy, meat and sugar], weighted with the average export shares.
  • The index has become a critical and timely monthly indicator of the state of international food markets, gauging the change in food commodity prices over time in nominal and real terms.

Why it matters?

  • High food prices have contributed to a surge in inflation
  • There are social and economic advantages from high food prices for example higher prices are an opportunity to improve farmers’ incomes and to stimulate investments in farming.
  • For developing countries that are major exporters of food, the rise in world prices helped to bring about an improvement in the terms of trade and a strong balance of payments.

Concerns raised

  • That said higher food prices for domestic consumers created fresh problems of poverty and hunger.
  • Lower-income families spend a higher proportion of their budgets on food.
  • Higher prices hit them hardest causing a fall in real living standards.
  • This means that food price inflation can act as a tax on the poor and have a regressive effect on the distribution of income.

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Stepping out of the shadow of India’s malnutrition

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : National Food Security Act 2013

Mains level : Paper 3- Food Security

The article takes stock of the food insecurity and malnutrition in India with the aid of two recently published reports.

Reports about food security in India

  • Two recent reports — “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2020” by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations and the 2020 Hunger report, “Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow” by the Bread for the World Institute  – document staggering facts about Indian food insecurity and malnutrition.
  • The reports use two globally recognised indicators, Prevalence of Undernourishment (PoU) and the Prevalence of Moderate or Severe Food Insecurity (PMSFI).
  • Using these indicators, the reports indicate India to be one of the most food-insecure countries, with the highest rates of stunting and wasting among other South Asian countries.

Comparing rate of reduction in malnutrition with neighbouring countries

  • Malnutrition in India has not declined as much as the decline has occurred in terms of poverty.
  • On the contrary, the reduction is found to be much lower than in neighbouring China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
  • The decline in China is way higher than that of India, even though it had started with lower levels of PoU in 2000.

Food security during pandemic and National Food Security Act 2013

  • Two crucial elements still got left out in the National Food Security Act – 2013.
  • These two elements are the non-inclusion of nutritious food items such as pulses and exclusion of potential beneficiaries.
  • Because of this, the current COVID-19 pandemic would make the situation worse in general, more so for vulnerable groups.
  • Though States have temporarily expanded their coverage in the wake of the crisis, the problem of malnutrition is likely to deepen in the coming years.
  • Hence, a major shift in policy has to encompass the immediate universalisation of the Public Distribution System which should definitely not be temporary in nature.

Conclusion

The need of the hour remains the right utilisation and expansion of existing programmes to ensure that we arrest at least some part of this burgeoning malnutrition in the country.

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Distribution of Fortified Rice under ICDS

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Fortified rice, Biofortification, ICDS

Mains level : Various facets of hunger and malnutrition in India

In a bid to combat chronic anaemia and undernutrition, the government is planning to distribute fortified rice through the Integrated Child Development Services and Mid-Day Meal schemes across the country.

What is Fortified Rice?

  • Rice can be fortified by adding a micronutrient powder to the rice that adheres to the grains or spraying of the surface of ordinary rice grains with a vitamin and mineral mix to form a protective coating.
  • Rice can also be extruded and shaped into partially precooked grain-like structures resembling rice grains, which can then be blended with natural polished rice.
  • Rice kernels can be fortified with several micronutrients, such as iron, folic acid and other B-complex vitamins, vitamin A and zinc.
  • These fortified kernels are then mixed with normal rice in a 1:100 ratio, and distributed for consumption.

Note: Biofortification is the process by which the nutritional quality of food crops is improved through agronomic practices, conventional plant breeding, or modern biotechnology. It differs from conventional fortification in that Biofortification aims to increase nutrient levels in crops during plant growth rather than through manual means during the processing of the crops.

What was the earlier initiative?

  • The centrally-sponsored pilot scheme was approved in February 2019 for a three-year period from 2019-20 onwards.
  • However, only five States — Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Chhattisgarh — have started the distribution of fortified rice in their identified pilot districts.

Need for expansion

  • Currently, there are only 15,000 tonnes of these kernels available per year in the country.
  • To cover PDS, anganwadis and mid-day meals in the 112 aspirational districts, annual supply capacity would need to be increased to about 1.3 lakh tonnes.
  • To cover PDS across the country, 3.5 lakh tonnes of fortified kernels would be needed.

Regulating fortification

  • FSSAI has formulated a comprehensive regulation on fortification of foods namely ‘Food Safety and Standards (Fortification of Foods) Regulations, 2016’.
  • These regulations set the standards for food fortification and encourage the production, manufacture, distribution, sale and consumption of fortified foods.
  • The regulations also provide for the specific role of FSSAI in promotion for food fortification and to make fortification mandatory.
  • WHO recommends fortification of rice with iron, vitamin A and folic acid as a public health strategy to improve the iron status of population wherever rice is a staple food.

Back2Basics: Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)

  • The ICDS aims to provide food, preschool education, primary healthcare, immunization, health check-up and referral services to children under 6 years of age and their mothers.
  • The scheme was launched in 1975, discontinued in 1978 by the government of Morarji Desai, and then relaunched by the Tenth Five Year Plan.
  • The tenth FYP also linked ICDS to Anganwadi centres established mainly in rural areas and staffed with frontline workers.
  • The ICDS provide for anganwadis or day-care centres which deliver a package of six services including:
  1. Immunization
  2. Supplementary nutrition
  3. Health checkup
  4. Referral services
  5. Pre-school education (Non-Formal)
  6. Nutrition and Health information

Implementation

  • For nutritional purposes, ICDS provides 500 kilocalories (with 12-15 grams of protein) every day to every child below 6 years of age.
  • For adolescent girls, it is up to 500-kilo calories with up to 25 grams of protein every day.
  • The services of Immunisation, Health Check-up and Referral Services delivered through Public Health Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

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Highlights of the Global Hunger Report, 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : GHI

Mains level : Various facets of hunger and malnutrition in India

India has the highest prevalence of wasted children under five years in the world, which reflects acute undernutrition, according to the Global Hunger Index 2020.

Note the parameters over which the GHI is based and their weightage composition.

Global Hunger Index (GHI)

  • The GHI has been brought out almost every year by Welthungerhilfe lately in partnerships with Concern Worldwide since 2000; this year’s report is the 14th one.
  • The reason for mapping hunger is to ensure that the world achieves “Zero Hunger by 2030” — one of the SDGs laid out by the UN.
  • A low score gets a country a higher ranking and implies better performance.
  • It is for this reason that GHI scores are not calculated for certain high-income countries.
  • Each country’s data are standardised on a 100-point scale and a final score is calculated after giving 33.33% weight each to components 1 and 4, and giving 16.66% weight each to components 2 and 3.

For each country in the list, the GHI looks at four indicators:

  1. Undernourishment (which reflects inadequate food availability): calculated by the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient)
  2. Child Wasting (which reflects acute undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, those who have low weight for their height)
  3. Child Stunting (which reflects chronic undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, those who have low height for their age)
  4. Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment): calculated by the mortality rate of children under the age of five.

India’s performance this year

  • In the 2020 Global Hunger Index, India ranks 94th out of the 107 countries with sufficient data to calculate 2020 GHI scores.
  • With a score of 27.2, India has a level of hunger that is serious.
  • The situation has worsened in the 2015-19 period, when the prevalence of child wasting was 17.3%, in comparison to 2010-14, when it was 15.1%.
  • India fares worst in child wasting (low weight for height, reflecting acute undernutrition) and child stunting (low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition), which together make up a third of the total score.

Useful comparative data

  • Overall, India ranks 94 out of 107 countries in the Index, lower than neighbours such as Bangladesh (75) and Pakistan (88).
  • In the region of the south, east and south-eastern Asia, the only countries which fare worse than India are Timor-Leste, Afghanistan and North Korea.

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[pib] Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : FAO

Mains level : India and FAO

On the occasion of 75th Anniversary of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) on 16th October 2020, PM has released a commemorative coin of Rs 75.

Try this MCQ:

Q.The FAO accords the status of ‘Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems (GIAHS)’ to traditional agricultural systems. What is the overall goal of this initiative?

  1. To provide modern technology, training in modern farming methods and financial support to local communities of identified GIAHS so as to greatly enhance their agricultural productivity.
  2. To identify and safeguard eco-friendly traditional farm practices and their associated landscapes, agricultural biodiversity and knowledge systems of the local communities.
  3. To provide Geographical Indication status to all the varieties of agricultural produce in such identified GIAHS Select the correct answer using the code given below:

(a) 1 and 3 only

(b) 2 only

(c) 2 and 3 only

(d) 1, 2 and 3

About FAO

  • It is a specialized agency of the United Nations that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security.
  • It was founded in October 1945 and is headquartered in Rome.
  • It maintains regional and field offices around the world, operating in over 130 countries.
  • It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects data on agricultural output, production, and development.
  • Composed of 197 member states, the FAO is governed by a biennial conference representing each member country and the European Union, which elects a 49-member executive council.
  • The Director-General serves as the chief administrative officer.

India and FAO

  • India has had a historic association with FAO.
  • Indian Civil Service Officer Dr Binay Ranjan Sen was the Director-General of FAO during 1956-1967.
  • The World Food Programme, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, was established during his time.
  • India’s proposals for the International Year of Pulses in 2016 and the International Year of Millets 2023 have also been endorsed by FAO.

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Global Nutrition Report, 2020

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Global Nutrition Report, 2020

Mains level : State of Mother-Child health in India

The Global Nutrition Report 2020 has stated that India is among 88 countries that are likely to miss global nutrition targets by 2025.

UPSC may puzzle you by asking a prelim question like-

With reference to the Global Nutrition Report, which of the following is/are a Global Nutrition Targets?

Visit this link for more graphics related to India: https://globalnutritionreport.org/resources/nutrition-profiles/asia/southern-asia/india/

About the Global Nutrition Report

  • The GNR is a report card on the world’s nutrition—globally, regionally, and country by country—and on efforts to improve it.
  • It is an independently produced annual stock-take of the state of the world’s nutrition. It is a multi-stakeholder initiative, consisting of a Stakeholder Group, Independent Expert Group and Report Secretariat.
  • It was conceived following the first Nutrition for Growth Initiative Summit (N4G) in 2013 and was first published in 2014.
  • The report tracks global nutrition targets on maternal, infant and young child nutrition and on diet-related Non-Communicable Diseases adopted by member states of the WHO as well as governments’ delivery against their commitments.

India would miss the targets

  • According to the Global Nutrition Report 2020, India will miss targets for all four nutritional indicators for which there is data available, i.e.

1) Stunting among under-5 children,

2) Anaemia among women of reproductive age,

3) Childhood overweight and

4) Exclusive breastfeeding

What are Global nutrition targets?

  • In 2012, the World Health Assembly identified six nutrition targets for maternal, infant and young child nutrition to be met by 2025. They are:

1) Reducing stunting by 40% in children under 5 years age

2) Reducing anaemia by 50% among women in the age group of 19-49 years

3) Ensuring a 30% reduction in low-birth-weight

4) Ensuring no increase in childhood overweight,

5) Increasing the rate of exclusive breastfeeding in the first six months up to at least 50% and

6) Reducing and maintaining childhood wasting to less than 5%.

Data on Underweight children

  • Between 2000 and 2016, rates of underweight have decreased from 66.0% to 58.1% for boys and 54.2% to 50.1% in girls.
  • However, this is still high compared to the average of 35.6% for boys and 31.8% for girls in Asia.
  • In addition, 37.9% of children fewer than 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively.
  • One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic, while at the same time the rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.

Data about India

  • Stunting and wasting among children

    • Data: 37.9% of children under 5 years are stunted and 20.8% are wasted, compared to the Asia average of 22.7% and 9.4% respectively. 
  •  Inequity:
      • India is identified as among the three worst countries, along with Nigeria and Indonesia, for steep within-country disparities in stunting, where the levels varied four-fold across communities.
      • For example, Stunting level in Uttar Pradesh is over 40% and their rate among individuals in the lowest income group is more than double those in the highest income group at 22.0% and 50.7%, respectively.
      • In addition, stunting prevalence is 10.1% higher in rural areas compared to urban areas.
  • Overweight and Obesity
    • Data: Rate of overweight and obesity continues to rise, affecting almost a fifth of the adults, at 21.6% of women and 17.8% of men.
    • Inequity: There are nearly double as many obese adult females than there are males (5.1% compared to 2.7%).
  • Anaemia
    • One in two women of reproductive age is anaemic.

Inequities in Malnutrition

  • The report emphasises on the link between malnutrition and different forms of inequity, such as those based on geographic location, age, gender, ethnicity, education and wealth malnutrition in all its forms.
  • Inequity is a cause of malnutrition — both under-nutrition and overweight, obesity and other diet-related chronic diseases.
  • Inequities in food and health systems exacerbate inequalities in nutrition outcomes that in turn can lead to more inequity, perpetuating a vicious cycle, says the report.

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Let no one go hungry

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much.

Mains level : Paper 2-How steps government must take to ensure that the stranded labour are not left without food.

Context

The impact of the lockdown, effected from midnight of March 24, has been particularly severe on migrant workers. The state must utilise FCI stock for those who have ration cards and those who don’t.

India’s labour force and impact of lockdown on it

  • Nearly one-fifth of India’s labour force consists of internal migrants.
  • As per the 2011 census, a quarter of the urban population consists of migrants.
  • These tend to be predominantly male, from the less developed northern states, in the lower-income strata, and dependent on daily wages or precarious livelihoods.
  • The impact of the lockdown has been particularly severe on migrant workers.
  • Uncertainty and reverse migration: Due to uncertainty over the duration of the lockdown, and about their own livelihoods and food security, the lockdown has led to massive reverse migration from cities back to villages.
  • Further, due to the absence of train and bus services, many of these workers took to simply walking back.
  • The ground reality of inadequate preparation or insufficient provision means that neither their anxiety nor plight is assuaged.
  • Migrant workers tend to depend on public eating places or community arrangements for food.
  • Under a lockdown, there is simply no choice for them, except to depend on the government’s efforts or charitable organisations.

Utilising the grain stocks with the FCI

  • The government has a large stock of wheat and rice procured over the last three years.
  • Stock in excess of buffer norm: The buffer norm for April 1 is 21.4 million tonnes, against which the country had about 7 million tonnes on March 1: This comprises 27.5 million tonnes of wheat and 50.2 million tonnes of rice.
  • In most districts of India, the Food Corporation of India and state agencies have a storage capacity of more than the three months requirement of the public distribution system.
  • The warehouses are spread across all the districts in every state.
  • The government has already announced that an additional quantity of five kg of foodgrains will be provided, free of cost, to all ration card holders for the next three months.
  • Most of the unorganised labour and families migrating back from their place of work will probably have their ration cards in the villages itself.
  • So, it should not be much of a problem for them to find food during the period of lockdown.

What should the state do to feed those who do not have ration cards

  • For those who do not have ration cards in the villages, it is the right time to use this extra stock of foodgrains.
  • Using school and Anganwadi infrastructure: In villages, primary schools have facilities for cooking mid-day meals for children. Some Anganwadi also have this facility. This infrastructure can be used to provide cooked meals to those who do not have ration cards in the villages.
  • The government can easily offer to meet their requirement of wheat and rice over the next three weeks and panchayats can be asked to meet a part of the expenditure required to purchase vegetables, spices and cooking oil.
  • The village panchayats which take up such a feeding programme must be provided Rs 20 per person per day from State Disaster Relief Fund for the expenditure on vegetables, cooking oil, spices, which are not covered by the PDS.
  • In some villages, the local community may also be willing to help the panchayats to feed such people.
  • Efforts must also be made by the panchayats to raise donations in kind from the local community for rabi pulses like chana (chickpea), masoor (lentil), matar (field pea) which are available in plenty in pulse-growing states.

How to feed those who are stuck in the cities

  • A number of labourers and self-employed: In urban areas, as per the Periodic Labour Force Survey, there were about 6 crore casual labourers and four crore self-employed persons in 2017-18.
  • Even after the reverse migration to villages, there would still be millions of them who are stuck in cities at their place of work.
  • These are people who do not have any savings or source of income which can sustain them during the period of the lockdown. These people living in slums, in the poorer areas of cities, are in need of urgent assistance for food, at least for the next three weeks.
  • The most distressed at present are those stuck in the cities, or who have been walking hundreds of kilometres to reach their homes in small towns and villages.
  • Allocating funds form relief funds: The district collectors should be allocated funds from the State Disaster Relief Fund to provide them with food and open all community buildings en route for them.
  • Engaging various players: The states must engage NGOs, factories and charities including religious organisations to raise funds for meeting the expenditure on milk, eggs, cooking oil and vegetables, and even soaps and sanitisers.
  • More than 67,000 NGOs are registered with the Niti Aayog on their NGO Darpan platform — which was created to bring about a greater partnership between the government and the voluntary sector and to foster transparency, efficiency and accountability.
  • This is the time to use such a platform.
  • The Centre can easily provide free rice and wheat to the NGOs from its stock and the NGOs can provide cooked meals in urban areas for the next three weeks.
  • For one crore individuals, for three weeks, the government needs to provide just about 75,000 tonnes of rice. Since the milling of wheat would be difficult due to the closure of flour mills, only rice can be provided at this stage.

Conclusion

The rabi harvest is expected to be a bumper one. The utilisation of the FCI stock — for not only the ration card holders but also the non-ration cardholders, and for providing food to the poor stuck in urban areas — is the most appropriate use of the foodgrain stock with the government. This is urgent and must be done.

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Nutrition and the Budget’s fine print

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh

Mains level : Paper 2- Despite having many schemes to address the malnutrition the problems still looms large, why?

Context

There are well-equipped schemes to address the malnutrition, plugging the policy gaps is the problem.

Nutrition and hunger in India

  • Global Hunger Index rank 102: A few months ago, the Global Hunger Index, reported that India suffers from “serious” hunger, ranked 102 out of 117 countries.
  • Only one-tenth of children getting proper diet: Just a tenth of children between six to 23 months are fed a minimum acceptable diet.
  • Urgency reflected in the budget: The urgency around nutrition was reflected in the Union Finance Minister’s Budget speech, as she referred to the “unprecedented” scale of developments under the scheme for Holistic Nutrition, or POSHAN Abhiyaan, the National Nutrition Mission with efforts to track the status of 10 crore households.
  • The Economic Survey notes that “Food is not just an end in itself but also an essential ingredient in the growth of human capital and therefore important for national wealth creation”.
  • How malnutrition affects? Malnutrition affects cognitive ability, workforce days and health, impacting as much as 16% of GDP (World Food Programme and World Bank).

Addressing Nutrition through Agriculture

  • Multiple dimension of malnutrition: There are multiple dimensions of malnutrition that include-
    • Calorific deficiency.
    • Protein hunger.
    • Micronutrient deficiency.
  • Addressing the issue through Agriculture: An important approach to address nutrition is through agriculture.
    • The Bharatiya Poshan Krishi Kosh which was launched in 2019 is a recent attempt to bridge this gap.
    • The krishi kosh was launched by Ministry of Women and Child Development along with Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
    • Existing schemes can well address India’s malnutrition dilemma. Following is the analysis of budgetary allocation and expenditure in the previous year.

First- Calorific deficiency

  • The Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) scheme provides a package of services including-
    • Supplementary nutrition.
    • Nutrition and health education.
    • Health check-ups and
    • Referral services addressing children, pregnant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls, key groups to address community malnutrition, and which also tackle calorific deficiency and beyond.
    • Underutilisation of funds: For 2019-20, the allotment was ₹27,584.37 crore but revised estimates are ₹24,954.50 crore, which points to an underutilisation of resources.
    • Which area needs the emphasis: The allocation this year is marginally higher, but clearly, the emphasis needs to be on implementation.
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme: Another pathway to address hunger is the Mid-Day Meal Scheme, to enhance the nutrition of schoolchildren.
    • Here too, the issue is not with allocation but with expenditure.
    • The 2019-20 Budget allocation was ₹11,000 crore and revised estimates are only ₹9,912 crores.

Second-Protein Hunger

  • Contribution of pulses: Pulses are a major contributor to address protein hunger.
    • Underutilisation of funds: A scheme for State and Union Territories aims to reach pulses into welfare schemes (Mid-Day Meal, Public Distribution System, ICDS) has revised estimates standing at just ₹370 crores against ₹800 crore allocation in the 2019-20 Budget.

Third-micronutrient deficiency

  • Horticulture Mission: The Horticulture Mission can be one of the ways to address micronutrient deficiency effectively, but here too implementation is low.
    • Revised estimates for 2019-20 stand at ₹1,583.50 crores against an allocation of ₹2,225 crores.
  • National Millet Mission: In 2018-19, the Government of India launched a national millet mission which included renaming millets as “nutri-cereals” also launching a Year of Millets in 2018-19 to promote nutritious cereals in a campaign mode across the country.
    • This could have been further emphasised in the Budget as well as in the National Food Security Mission (NFSM) which includes millets.
    • Under-utilisation of funds: The NFSM strains to implement the allocation of ₹2,000 crores during 2019-20, as revised expenditures stand at ₹1,776.90 crore.
    • Need to sustain the momentum: As millets have the potential to address micronutrient deficiencies, the momentum given to these cereals needs to be sustained.

POSHAN Abhiyan and issues involved

  • 72% expenditure on technology: The National Nutrition Mission which is a major initiative to address malnutrition, had 72% of total expenditure going into “Information and Communication Technology.
    • Misplaced focus: The focus of the bulk of the funding has been on technology, whereas, actually, it is a convergence that is crucial to address nutrition.
    • Under-utilisation of funds: Only 34% of funds released by the Government of India were spent from FY 2017-18 to FY 2019-20 till November 30, 2019.
    • Limiting the possibility of an increase in the allocation: With underspending, allocations for subsequent years will also be affected, limiting the possibility of increasing budgets and the focus on nutrition schemes.

Agriculture-nutrition link

  • The agriculture-nutrition link is another piece of the puzzle.
  • Link not explicitly mentioned: While agriculture dominated the initial Budget speech, the link between agriculture and nutrition was not explicit.
    • Why the link is important: The link is important because about three-fifths of rural households are agricultural in India (National Sample Survey Office, 70th round)
    • The malnutrition rates, particularly in rural areas are high (National Family Health Survey-4).
    • Need for greater emphasis: Agriculture-nutrition linkage schemes have the potential for greater impact and need greater emphasis.

Way forward

  • Focus: Focus on nutrition-related interventions, beyond digitisation.
  • Bring all departments in one place: Intensify the convergence component of POSHAN Abhiyaan, using the platform to bring all departments in one place to address nutrition.
  • Nutrition based activities by farmer-producer: Direct the announcement to form 10,000 farmer producer organisations with an allocation of ₹500 crores to nutrition-based activities.
  • Youth schemes: Promotion of youth schemes to be directed to nutrition-agriculture link activities in rural areas.
  • Emphasis on fund allocation: Give explicit emphasis and fund allocation to agriculture-nutrition linked schemes.
  • Early disbursement and utilisation of funds: Ensure early disbursement of funds and optimum utilisation of schemes linked to nutrition.

Conclusion

Nutrition goes beyond just food, with economic, health, water sanitation, gender perspectives and social norms contributing to better nutrition. This is why the implementation of multiple schemes can contribute to better nutrition.

 

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[op-ed snap] Odisha’s strides in nutrition

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Nothing much

Mains level : Case study from Orissa

Context

Odisha is one of the Empowered Action Group States or eight socio-economically backward states of India. It has done remarkably well in health and nutrition outcomes over the past two decades.

Outcomes

    • Its infant mortality rate has significantly declined. 
    • Its under-five mortality rate almost halved in the National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-4 from NFHS-3. 
    • It has seen a steep decline in stunting in children under five. 
    • Anaemia in children and pregnant women has also decreased since NFHS-3. 
    • Antenatal care and institutional deliveries have shown good improvement. 

Nutritional interventions

    • Nutrition has a strong correlation to health and is integral to growth and development. 
    • Timely nutritional interventions of breastfeeding, age-appropriate complementary feeding, Vitamin A supplementation, and full immunisation are effective in improving nutrition outcomes in children. 
    • A nutrition action plan based on convergence – with health, nutrition, and WASH programmes. 
    • Decentralising the procurement of supplementary nutrition under the Integrated Child Development Services programme. This has led to fair access to services under the ICDS by all beneficiaries.
    • A rise in utilisation of services under the ICDS as compared to a decade ago. 
    • Supplementary nutrition – There has been a marked improvement in supplementary nutrition received by pregnant and lactating women in NFHS-4 compared to NFHS-3.

Malnutrition

    • Despite progress in child and maternal indicators, Odisha continues to be plagued by a high level of malnutrition. 
    • Stunting – There is stark variability across districts in stunting ranging from as high as 47.5% in Subarnapur to a low of 15.3% in Cuttack. 
    • Wasting is high in 25 out of the 30 districts. Almost half of the under-five children from tribal communities in Odisha are underweight, and 46% are stunted. 
    • The infant mortality rate among tribals is the fourth highest in Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh.
    • Reduced supplementary food – food given under the ICDS programme has shown a significant increase. Less of such food is given as children grow older. 
    • Feeding – There is also a decline is children receiving timely complementary feeding. Less than 10% of children receive a minimum acceptable diet. This can be attributed to a lack of understanding and awareness about nutrition due to illiteracy.

PVTGs

    • Another challenge for Odisha is in reaching out to remote and particularly vulnerable tribal groups. 
    • This could be the reason why tribal women and children are lagging behind the national average on nutrition and health indicators. 

Way ahead

    • It is essential to improve the implementation of schemes and ensure last-mile delivery of nutrition services.
    • A part of the solution lies in setting up mini Anganwadi centres catering to far-flung tribal hamlets. 
    • Raising awareness through community campaigns on the need for good nutrition would help improve the utilisation of services by beneficiaries.
    • The International Food Policy Research Institute called for inter-department engagements to accelerate the nutrition outcome in Odisha. 
    • There is a need to improve sanitation, women’s education and underlying poverty to tackle undernutrition.
    • Underweight children should also be identified precisely so that the monitoring mechanism for improving service delivery can be strengthened. 
    • The National Nutrition Mission sets an example with its inter-ministerial convergence and real-time monitoring mechanism for tracking each beneficiary and tackling malnutrition.

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[op-ed snap] National dishonour

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Hunger Index

Mains level : Reasons for persisting hunger in India

Context

Despite unprecedented quantities of wealth, India is unable to overcome hunger and malnourishment. Along with this, government warehouses are overflowing with stocks of rotting rice and wheat.

Hunger

    • Hunger is the failure to access the calories that are necessary to sustain an active and healthy life. 
    • It results in intense human suffering and indignity as their brains and bodies are unable to grow to full potential they fall ill too often and are snatched away too early.

Why it is a dishonor

    • Entirely preventable – With appropriate public policies — sensitively designed, adequately resourced and effectively implemented — the country has both the wealth and the food stocks to end hunger entirely. 
    • The success of our neighbors in combating hunger — Nepal emerging from 15 years of civil war and Pakistan still torn by internal conflict is a reminder of what India has not accomplished. 

GHI ranking

    • 4 indicators — undernourishment (the share of the population with insufficient calorie intake); child wasting (children with low weight for height, indicating acute undernutrition); child stunting (children with a low height for age, reflecting chronic undernutrition); and child mortality (death rate of children under five).
    • The GHI report ranks India at 102 out of 117 countries. 
    • State of India – India has the highest rate of child wasting (20.8%). Its child stunting rate (37.9%) also remains high.
    • India’s poorer neighbors — Bangladesh, Nepal, and even Pakistan — have overtaken India in the battle against hunger.

The success story of Bangladesh and Nepal 

    • The Bangladesh success story is attributed to pro-poor economic growth raising household incomes as well as significant improvements in “nutrition-sensitive” sectors like education, sanitation, and health. 
    • Nepal shows increased household wealth, maternal education, sanitation, health and nutrition programs.

What must India do better

    • In the latest 2018-19 India Exclusion Report of the Centre for Equity Studies, it is found that the largest population of food-insecure people are food producers — farmworkers, tenants, marginal and small farmers, fish workers and forest gatherers. 

People with farm jobs

    • Food producers must be supported to receive adequate remuneration. 
    • Measures to protect farmer income – income transfers to farmers, MSP guarantees and crop insurance, and massive expansion of farm credit. 
    • For farmworkers – refocus on land reforms is called for. An expanded and managed rural employment guarantee programme with attention to land and watershed development, small irrigation and afforestation is needed. 
    • Shift to sustainable agricultural technologies less dependent on irrigation, chemical fertilisers, and pesticides, to reverse our agro-ecological crisis.

Non – farm jobs

    • Informal workers – Hunger can’t be combated without addressing the burgeoning job crisis. It also entails labour reforms that protect job security, fair work conditions and social security of all workers. 
    • Urban employment guarantee program is needed to help build basic public services and infrastructure for the urban poor — especially slum and pavement residents, and the homeless. 
    • Employment in the care economy – with services for child-care, children and adults with disabilities and older persons.

Nutrition schemes

    • Public Distribution System must be universalised and should distribute not just cereals but also pulses and edible oils. It should be a decentralised system where a variety of crops are procured and distributed locally. 
    • Pre-school feeding and school meals need adequate budgets. Meals should be supplemented with nutrient-rich foods such as dairy products, eggs, and fruits. 

Social security

    • Universal pension for persons not covered by formal schemes, universal maternity entitlements to enable all women in informal work to rest and breast-feed their children, a vastly expanded creche scheme, and residential schools for homeless children and child workers.

Healthcare

    • Absorption of food – Malnourishment results not just from inadequate food intake, but also because food is not absorbed due to frequent infections caused by bad drinking water, poor sanitation and lack of healthcare. 
    • WASH – India’s nutrition failures are also because of persisting gaps in securing potable water to all citizens, and continued open defecation despite optimistic official reporting.
    • Right to healthcare – India needs a legally enforceable universal and free out-patient and hospital-based care, free diagnostics, and free medicines.

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Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

Global Hunger Index 2019

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : GHI

Mains level : Read the attached story


  • The Global Hunger Index 2019 was recently released.

Global Hunger Index (GHI)

  • The GHI has been brought out almost every year by Welthungerhilfe lately in partnerships with Concern Worldwide since 2000; this year’s report is the 14th one.
  • The reason for mapping hunger is to ensure that the world achieves “Zero Hunger by 2030” — one of the SDGs laid out by the United Nations.
  • A low score gets a country a higher ranking and implies a better performance.
  • It is for this reason that GHI scores are not calculated for certain high-income countries.
  • Each country’s data are standardised on a 100-point scale and a final score is calculated after giving 33.33% weight each to components 1 and 4, and giving 16.66% weight each to components 2 and 3.

For each country in the list, the GHI looks at four indicators:

  • Undernourishment (which reflects inadequate food availability): calculated by the share of the population that is undernourished (that is, whose caloric intake is insufficient)
  • Child Wasting (which reflects acute undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are wasted (that is, those who have low weight for their height)
  • Child Stunting (which reflects chronic undernutrition): calculated by the share of children under the age of five who are stunted (that is, those who have low height for their age)
  • Child Mortality (which reflects both inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environment): calculated by the mortality rate of children under the age of five.

India’s performance

  • The latest GHI has ranked India a lowly 102 among the 117 countries it has mapped.
  • India is one of the 47 countries that have “serious” levels of hunger.
  • In 2018, India was pegged at 103 but last year 119 countries were mapped.
  • So while the rank is one better this year, in reality, India is not better off in comparison to the other countries.

Global scene

  • On the whole, the 2019 GHI report has found that the number of hungry people has risen from 785 million in 2015 to 822 million.
  • It further states that “multiple countries have higher hunger levels now than in 2010, and approximately 45 countries are set to fail to achieve ‘low’ levels of hunger by 2030”.

India’s score relative to its neighbors

  • Among the BRICS grouping, India is ranked the worst, with China at 25 and a score of just 6.5.
  • Within South Asia, too, India is behind every other country.
  • Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh and Pakistan (in that order) are all ahead of India.

Why is India ranked so low on GHI?

  • There is one category — Child Wasting, that is, children with low weight for their age — where India has worsened.
  • In other words, the percentage of children under the age of 5 years suffering from wasting has gone up from 16.5 in 2010 to 20.8 now.
  • Wasting is indicative of acute undernutrition and India is the worst among all countries on this parameter.
  • India’s child wasting rate is extremely high at 20.8 percent — the highest wasting rate of any country in this report for which data or estimates were available.

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[pib] Coffee Table Book for partnership between India and the UN World Food Programme

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : World Food Programme, Coffee Table Book

Mains level : Not Much

  • Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare has launched a Coffee Table Book today to commemorate five decades of partnership between the Ministry and the UN World Food Programme towards addressing food and nutritional security in India.

Coffee Table Book

  • The Book showcases key milestones achieved by the Government of India in its efforts to make the nation free from hunger and malnutrition and WFP’s role in this endeavour.
  • Some of the major turning points in India’s journey towards food and nutrition security captured in the book include the Green Revolution, the White revolution, improvements in livestock and dairy development and digitization of food safety nets.

About World Food Programme

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
  • It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • According to the WFP, it provides food assistance to an average of 91.4 million people in 83 countries each year.
  • From its headquarters in Rome and from more than 80 country offices around the world, the WFP works to help people who cannot produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its executive committee.

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Hunger and Nutrition Issues – GHI, GNI, etc.

World Food Programme

Note4students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: WFP

Mains level: Not Much


News

  • Japan has donated 69 million dollars to the United Nations World Food Programme to provide vital aid to 28 countries in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, with the biggest shares of the money earmarked for Yemen and Iraq.
  • Japan is one of WFP’s top donors and has contributed $$958 million to the UN agency since 2014.

About World Food Programme

  • The World Food Programme (WFP) is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations and the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • From its headquarters in Rome and from more than 80 country offices around the world, the WFP works to help people who cannot produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its executive committee.
  • WFP has been working in India since 1963, with work transitioning from food distribution to technical assistance since the country achieved self-sufficiency in cereal production.

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