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WFP India Country Brief, September 2021

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• Recently, WFP installed a mobile storage unit (MSU) in Bargarh (Odisha) as part of a pilot programme in which three MSUs were procured from UNHRD to support state governments in reducing post-harvest losses in remote areas.
Further, through WFP’s partnership with the Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi, the MSUs will be converted to smart warehouses which use sensors and infrared cameras to monitor temperature, humidity, presence of rodents, and stack weights, sending data to the Government’s management information system for quality control.

Operational Updates

Ensuring Access to Food

• As part of the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav to commemorate India’s 75 years of Independence, the Department of Food and Public Distribution released the “Compendium on Food Security Response during COVID-19 and Public Distribution System (PDS) Best Practices in some States/UTs” which WFP developed in collaboration with the Department. The Compendium highlights the response of the Department in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the scaled-up implementation of the national portability of the PDS, enabling beneficiaries, especially migrants, to collect their entitlements from any Fair Price Shop across the country using their existing ration card.

Improved Nutrition

• As part of the Poshan Maah 2021 (Nutrition Month) celebrations, WFP and government partners delivered a webinar on fortified rice in order to inform and sensitize government staff and the general public while also addressing myths and misconceptions. Nearly 380 participants attended the live webinar, while 6,000 have viewed the recorded version.

• WFP and the Department of Food and Public Distribution in Uttar Pradesh conducted sensitization training sessions for 343 rice millers and government officials from 61 rice-producing districts in the state. This will contribute to mainstreaming fortified rice in the food-based safety nets.

• The Fifth Monitoring Report (April-June 2021) on monitoring the implementation of mid-day meals across the country shows that, despite schools being closed for summer vacations, mid-day meal entitlements (dry rations and/or food security allowances) were distributed in all states and Union Territories except one.