World Food Programme (WFP)

GS 2 – INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Important International institutions, agencies and fora- their structure, mandate

Introduction 

World Food Programme (WFP) has been forefront at the conflict-ridden countries like for humanitarian assistance to the hungry and needy people.

  • To eradicate hunger and malnutrition with the ultimate goal of eliminating the need for food aid itself.
  • WFP functions in more than 83 countries, reaching 86.7 million people.

Hunger Map:2019

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Recently In News:

  • World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
  • for its contribution in combating hunger, bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas.
  • as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.

About:

  • Created in 1961 as an experiment to provide food aid through the UN system.
  • In 1965, it was enshrined as a fully-fledged UN programme.
  • 1st development program in Sudan.
  • Headquarters: Rome, Italy.
  • A member of the United Nations Development Group and part of its Executive Committee.
  • Governed by a 36-member Executive Board.

Funding:

  • Entirely by voluntary donations from world governments, corporations and private donors.
  • Raised US$8 billion in 2019.
  • Partners with more than 1,000 national and international NGOs.
  • To provide food assistance and tackle the underlying causes of hunger.

Link between food security and peace:

  • “Vicious circle”, where conflict can cause food insecurity and food insecurity may trigger violence.
  • Almost 80% of all chronic malnourished children inhabit countries affected by armed conflict.
  • Not only prevents hunger but can also help to improve prospects for stability and peace.
    • Wars constrain people’s mobility
    • create black markets
    • restrict people’s access to food
    • making it either unavailable/too expensive
    • War-related displacement causes people to be removed from their cultivable land 
    • so that they cannot grow food
    • it diverts resources from people’s welfare towards the war effort.
  • SDG (Sustainable development goal) – 2 targets zero hunger by 2030.

Data:

  • WFP data: 
    • there are 821 million people in the world who do not get enough food to lead a normal, active life
    • world’s 1/4th undernourished people live in India.
  • SOFI (State of Food Security and Nutrition) report, 2020:
    • food insecurity in India increased by 3.8% points between 2014 and 2019.
  • Global Nutrition Report 2018:
    • almost of the world’s burden for stunting.
    • India tops the list of countries with stunting
    • Almost 46.6 million children are stunted in India.
  • Global Hunger Index:
    • India ranks 94th out of the 107 countries.
  • Impact of COVID pandemic:
    • has the potential to increase the number of hungry people by 270 million.

Government measures in India:

  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY):
    • launched as a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
    • amid COVID pandemic as a relief package to prevent hunger and poverty.
    • eligible families are provided with 5 kg free wheat/rice per person/month.
    • long with 1 kg free whole chana to each family per month.
  • Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS): 
    • modified version of PDS launched in 2017 is TPDS.
    • aims at food security and poverty alleviation
    • via provisions for essential commodities to the beneficiaries.
    • identified based on the inclusion and exclusion criterion.
  • Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY):
    • Bottom most 2.5 crores BPL families get 35 kg of rice at Rs. 3/kg 
    • wheat at Rs. 2/kg through Fair Price Shops.
    • Senior citizens if not covered under the National Old Age Pension Scheme are provided 10 kg of food grains at free of cost.
  • National Food Security Act, 2013: 
    • gives a legal right to subsidized food grains to about 67% of the population 
    • provides for penalty for non-compliance by public servants with special provisions related to children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.
  • Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS): 
    • aimed at improving the nutritional and health status of
      • children between 0 to 6 years
      • pregnant women
      • lactating mothers.
  • Mid-Day Meal Scheme: 
    • aimed at improving the nutritional status of school-going children 
    • simultaneously enhancing enrollment, retention and attendance
  • National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan): 
    • India’s flagship program launched in 2018 
    • to improve nutritional standards among children and women 
    • by reducing the level of stunting, underweight, anaemia and low birth weight by 2022
    • based on the NITI Aayog’s recommendations under the National Nutrition strategy.

WFP in India:

  • Food distribution: to improve its efficiency, accountability and transparency.
  • Food fortification: multi-micronutrient fortification of school meals under the Mid-Day meal program.
  • Vulnerability monitoring: 
    • supporting India’s poverty and human development monitoring 
    • through its own Vulnerability Analysis and Mapping software 
    • to identify India’s most food-insecure areas.

Conclusion 

World Food programme with its high-level experience in tackling food-related issues in most difficult situations can assist India in dealing with the issues related to stunting and wasting.

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