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India country strategic plan (2023-2027)

Operation ID: IN03

CSP approved at EB November 2022

Revision 01 approved by the RD in August 2023

India has among the world’s largest economies and is a food surplus nation. It also has some of the world’s largest food-based social protection programmes, reaching more than 800 million people with subsidized rations, 118 million children with school meals and 90 million women and children with targeted supplementary nutrition. The Government has extended food assistance through the provision of food grains to people whose livelihoods were affected by the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

Yet a significant proportion of India’s population of 1.3 billion people suffers from food- and nutrition-related challenges. Although the Government has been upgrading its transportation systems and supply chains, it still faces efficiency and grain loss challenges due to inadequate storage. Migrant workers, tribal populations and other marginalized groups generally have trouble accessing food and the nutritional content of their diets is often inadequate. More than a third of children are malnourished as a result of poor knowledge and practices with regard to nutrition, hygiene and intrahousehold food access and consumption. Women and girls are at a greater disadvantage due to gender inequality. As men migrate to cities for work, women are often left behind to tend farms and perform unpaid work. India also faces significant climate change risks to its long-term development objectives.

The country strategic plan for 2023–2027 will continue to address national priorities in food and nutrition security through capacity strengthening for stakeholders and technical support for the strengthening of national social protection programmes and government schemes.

Since 2012, WFP’s work in India has been focused on country capacity strengthening. The country strategic plan for 2023–2027 will contribute to WFP strategic outcome 4 (national programmes and systems are strengthened) and to Sustainable Development Goal 2 targets for improving access to food, reducing malnutrition, increasing incomes and livelihoods and building resilient food systems while also supporting the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals 5 on gender equality and 13 on climate action. The country strategic plan outcomes are aligned with three of the four pillars of India’s United Nations sustainable development cooperation framework: outcome 3 is aligned with the “prosperity” pillar, outcome 2 with the “people” pillar and outcome 4 with the “planet” pillar. The cross-cutting themes of gender and inclusion in the country strategic plan support the “participation” pillar, with a focus on leaving no one behind.

The country strategic plan outcomes are:

➢ Outcome 1: By 2030, the Government of India’s food-based social protection systems reach their target beneficiaries more effectively and efficiently.

➢ Outcome 2: By 2030, beneficiaries of the Government of India’s food-based social protection systems have increased consumption of diverse, nutritious and fortified foods.

➢ Outcome 3: By 2030, women enrolled in the Government of India’s self-help group collectives in targeted states have increased social and financial mobility.

➢ Outcome 4: By 2030, the Government, civil society groups and communities in India have strengthened their adaptive capacity for climate-resilient livelihoods and food systems.

WFP’s core strength in India is its strong connection and ability to work closely with the national and state governments to meet their strategic priorities, utilizing WFP’s unique global and technical experience and skills. Over the years, WFP has been able to demonstrate success in working with Government and other stakeholders to find solutions and build capacity in a number of areas. Robust evaluations demonstrate programme impact and thus support scale-up, while research generates evidence for advocacy.

WFP will partner with a myriad of state and national actors, including the Government, the private sector, civil society organizations, United Nations entities, research institutes and academia.

Since 2015 WFP has been developing contextualized solutions to strengthen the Government’s three large food-based social protection systems. The country strategic plan moves forward with that broadened trajectory, focusing more on state-level engagement and co-funding and on working more cohesively across the outcomes well into the 2030s. In his remarks at the seventy-sixth session of the United Nations General Assembly, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi put it aptly: “Today, every sixth person in the world is an Indian. When Indians progress, the development of the world also gets a boost. When India grows, the world grows. When India reforms, the world transforms.”1