INDIA / COVID-19 WFP REPRESENTATIVE

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04-Jun-2021 00:03:24
The World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India, Bishow Parajuli, said, despite efforts by the government, the support provided is not enough, particularly for the poorest segments of the population facing job loss and loss of wages. UN NEWS / UNIFEED

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STORY: INDIA / COVID-19 WFP REPRESENTATIVE
TRT: 3:24
SOURCE: UN NEWS / UNIFEED
RESTRICTIONS: CREDIT WFP FOOTAGE ON SCREEN
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 03 JUNE 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

SHOTLIST:

WFP - RECENT, INDIA

1. Wide shot, women standing in que at food distribution site

03 JUNE 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

2. SOUNDBITE (English) Bishow Parajuli, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India:
“India has been facing a concern on malnutrition and there have been various efforts to address this. So, in that context this challenge of job loss and loss in employment opportunities, and loss in wages, has a severe consequence on food and nutrition. So, we worry about it very much. And of course, now this announcement by the government is a very positive support and initiative, but probably there will be a need to do these types of things for a longer period, and as well there might be a need for additional support.”

WFP - RECENT, INDIA

3. Wide shot, women standing in que at food distribution site

03 JUNE 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

4. SOUNDBITE (English) Bishow Parajuli, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India:
“Of course, India has made tremendous progress over the years in terms of [going] from a food deficit country to a surplus and exporting as well. While that exists, but there is this dichotomy of quite a significant concern of malnutrition. So, therefore being aware, being prepared and looking at how to respond and address that in the context of plan and programme and priority is a very important step.”

WFP - RECENT, INDIA

5. Close up, woman signing document at food distribution site

6. SOUNDBITE (English) Bishow Parajuli, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India:
“The highest level of negative impact is on the poorest communities, the wage earners, the migrants and also tribal communities who do not have enough of their own production or surplus. So it is quite widespread.”

WFP - RECENT, INDIA

7. Wide shot, people gathered at food distribution site

03 JUNE 2021, NEW DELHI, INDIA

8. SOUNDBITE (English) Bishow Parajuli, United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India:
“Probably, we will have about 250,000 to 300,000 people supporting in three states. Our model is not – you know we can do only so much given India’s context, but the idea is to learn from these exercises and then help bring the lessons learned for the government to respond and cooperate and demonstrate the best practices.”

WFP - RECENT, INDIA

9. Med shot, man standing in que at food distribution site
10. Pan right, woman having temperature taken at food distribution site

STORYLINE:

The World Food Programme (WFP) Representative and Country Director to India, Bishow Parajuli, said, despite efforts by the government, the support provided is not enough, particularly for the poorest segments of the population facing job loss and loss of wages.

In an interview with UN News on Thursday (03 Jun) Parajuli said the Indian Government had revived the support it provided during the first COVID-19 wave and provided an additional five kilograms of cereal, rice and wheat which helped on the household and individual levels.

He said, “India has been facing a concern on malnutrition and there have been various efforts to address this. So, in that context this challenge of job loss and loss in employment opportunities, and loss in wages, has a severe consequence on food and nutrition. So, we worry about it very much. And of course, now this announcement by the government is a very positive support and initiative, but probably there will be a need to do these types of things for a longer period, and as well there might be a need for additional support.”

The WFP official said efforts need to be redoubled to address the economic consequences of the pandemic as the impacts threaten achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets, not just in India but globally.

He added, “Of course, India has made tremendous progress over the years in terms of [going] from a food deficit country to a surplus and exporting as well. While that exists, but there is this dichotomy of quite a significant concern of malnutrition. So, therefore being aware, being prepared and looking at how to respond and address that in the context of plan and programme and priority is a very important step.”

Parajuli said India has a number of initiatives to address the food gap and the nutritional concern, but COVID has set back this process. He stressed that nursing and pregnant women along with children have more demanding nutritional needs and it is vital to pay attention to those needs. He noted that a recent study showed that women often eat last and less, which is why WFP is advocating for equal access to food support for women.

The WFP official said India has a food security law with three major safety net programmes, including the public distribution programme, the major meal programme for school children up to the 9th grade, and the integrated child development programme. He said these programmes cover close to a billion people, but there are concerns that many have fallen into the poorest category who are not covered under these programmes.

He said, “The highest level of negative impact is on the poorest communities, the wage earners, the migrants and also tribal communities who do not have enough of their own production or surplus. So it is quite widespread.”

Parajuli said WFP in India works different than other countries and has a technical advisory role in demonstrating best practices. He said WFP was working on distribution programmes to support targeting, engaged in improving supply chains and delivery, and on the nutrition side, promoting fortification to diversify vitamin and mineral intake. He said the Programme was also working on disaster preparedness and resilience building which government and civil society.

He said WFP was also working on providing complementary food support to those who have been left out and need help as a temporary measure, while continuously assessing the situation to understand the realities on the ground.

Parajuli said, “Probably, we will have about 250,000 to 300,000 people supporting in three states. Our model is not – you know we can do only so much given India’s context, but the idea is to learn from these exercises and then help bring the lessons learned for the government to respond and cooperate and demonstrate the best practices.”
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