Nobel Peace Prize winner WFP’s India hyperlink: PDS reforms, rice ATMs

Written by Harikishan Sharma
| New Delhi |

Updated: October 10, 2020 6:10:22 am

The World Food Programme headquarters in Rome. (Express Photo: Reuters)

The United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), which has been working in India since 1963, at a time when the nation was battling meals shortages, has been awarded the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee mentioned the WFP, which gives meals help to hundreds of thousands internationally, had acted “as a driving pressure in efforts to forestall the usage of starvation as a weapon of warfare and battle”.

In India, WFP has been working intently with the federal government, finishing up reforms within the Public Distribution System, in addition to piloting progressive options such because the current ‘Annapurti’, computerized grain dispensers — ATMs for rice— which can be aimed toward checking malpractices within the distribution system.

Commenting on the Nobel Peace Prize announcement, WFP Representative and Country Director in India Bishow Parajuli mentioned, “We are deeply humbled… We imagine three pillars are central to fixing meals system challenges, particularly in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic — nationwide social safety programs, fundamental supply of meals and vitamin by school-based programmes and resilient meals programs.”

Explained | How Peace Nobel winner WFP has combated hunger around the world

WFP’s India mentioned that whereas its focus within the nation has been on “reworking the focused public distribution system”, additionally it is engaged on fortification of meals distributed underneath the mid-day meal programme.

According to WFP India, since December 2018, 4,145 metric tonnes of fortified rice has been distributed to three lakh faculty kids underneath a pilot programme in Varanasi.

During the pandemic, WFP India additionally signed an MoU with the Uttar Pradesh State Rural Livelihood Mission to supply technical help for the organising of supplementary vitamin manufacturing models in 18 districts.

Describing WFP’s journey in India as “excellent”, Food Secretary Sudhanshu Pandey mentioned, “WFP has been collaborating with the Department of Food and Public Distribution in areas relating to produce chain and rice fortification, and is selling consciousness amongst beneficiaries on greatest practices within the meals sector.”

Explained | Who won the Nobel Peace Prize 2020 and why?

“We are additionally within the means of finalising a memorandum of understanding between the Food Corporation of India and WFP India,” he added.

The Centre has additionally given an in-principle approval to WPF for a pilot of its Annapurti programme, as a part of which computerized grain shelling out machines shall be arrange at 5 places throughout 5 states — Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. These machines, anticipated to test malpractices in PDS distribution, can dispense two commodities at a velocity of 25 kg per 1.three minutes. Each of those dispensers has a built-in storage capability of 200-500 kg.

According to WFP India, “This answer has turn out to be much more related in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic, because it permits beneficiaries to avail their entitlements precisely and at a time of the selection, thereby permitting for social distancing with minimal human contact.”

The different initiative, Mobile Storage Units (MSU), a “cost-effective answer for foodgrain storage”, in accordance with the Food Ministry, is operating as a pilot in Odisha and Uttarakhand.

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