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WFP Chief Lauds Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Country Director WFP India Bishow Parajuli Saturday said that the world has taken note of the innovative programmes launched by the Odisha government for improving food and nutrition security.

Addressing a United Nations (UN) World Food Programme (WFP) hosted a multi stakeholder interactive and consultation session on food security, he said that the international agency was happy with its partnership with Odisha as the State is very much focused on ensuring food security to all.

“Odisha has been a center of innovative pilots and schemes for improving food and nutrition security. The world has taken note of the innovative programs launched by Odisha, and how these schemes provided a food security lifeline during the current pandemic times,” he said.

Application of biometric technology in making TDPS error free, rice fortification, nutritious food in MDM and Anganwadi centers, State food security programme, women-led take home ration production model are some such interventions in Odisha, he added.

Over 80 policy makers, Government actors, NGO partners, academicians, and corporate houses deliberated together at the programme.

The objective of the long session was to gather feedback input from different sectors to make the WFP Strategic Plan 2023-2027 for Odisha more inclusive and effective.

Addressing the Session Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra said, “Government of Odisha is fully committed to reducing poverty and mal- nutrition. During recent years, there has been significant reduction in rural poverty, and food security has improved to great extent”.

He added that “partnership between WFP and Odisha has been very effective since the last two decades,  and six more partnership agreements in new areas have been initiated in the last year alone”.

Mahapatra asked WFP to undertake more technological application for enhancing outreach of the food security net and improving access to food security, more particularly the for poor and vulnerable sections. He emphasized on alligning the strategic plan towards SDG targets, and making it more outcome oriented.

Mahapatra assured that Government of Odisha would continue working with WFP in coming years for implementation of the strategic plan.

Recalling his working with UNDP, Development Commissioner Pardeep Kumar Jena advised to target the specific areas and communities that are more vulnerable for food and nutrition security, and bring them at par with the rapidly improving State parameters.

He emphasized on expeditious achievement of SDG-2 through partnerships.