Odisha Government Ties Up With UN WFP To Empower Women

The Odisha government has tied up with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) aiming to improve household food, providing nutritional security to thousands through the strengthening of livelihood initiatives and the Women’s Self-Help Groups (WSHGs).

WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian organisation spread over 80 countries, providing food to people displaced by conflict and impoverished by disasters. They also work to enhance nutrition in women and children, support smallholder farmers in improving their productivity and reducing losses, and boost human capital through school feeding programmes.

WFP Country Director in India, Bishow Parajuli, said that this partnership aims to achieve nutritional security in Odisha focusing on empowerment, livelihood, and incomes of women.

“Such focused initiatives are important to address and reduce vulnerabilities around food security as highlighted by the COVD-19 pandemic”, said Parajuli.

Marking the agreement, a virtual signing ceremony was held today between Parajuli, WFP (India) director, and Sujata R Karthikeyan, Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Department of Mission Shakti, Odisha.

“Sustainable livelihoods lead to improved household food and nutritional security and ultimately result in holistic empowerment of women. This collaboration will support Women’s Self-Help Groups (WSHGs) by providing technical assistance and capacity development, directly contributing to long-term food security and developing a replicable model”, said Karthikeyan.

This partnership adds to the core objectives of the department of Mission Shakti by enabling women’s participation in decision making, improving household nutritional security. Effective till December 2023, they will also be focusing on improving the linkage of women groups with government procurement systems, increasing awareness on entitlements, building the capacity of women’s groups, developing monitoring tools, and undertaking evaluations to improve the function of the groups.

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