Bhubaneswar, June 24: The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Odisha government have signed an agreement to work on improving household nutritional security by empowering women self-help groups in the state.
The collaboration will also focus on improving the linkage of women groups with government procurement systems, increasing awareness on entitlements, developing monitoring tools and undertaking evaluations.
The agreement was signed between Bishow Parajuli, the WFP country director in India, and Mission Shakti Department Commissioner-cum-Secretary Sujata Karthikeyan, on Wednesday at a virtual ceremony, the United Nations agency said in a release.
"This is a significant partnership for achieving nutritional security in Odisha focused on empowerment, livelihood, and incomes of women," Parajuli said. He said such focused initiatives were important to address and reduce vulnerabilities around food security as highlighted by the coronavirus pandemic.
"Sustainable livelihoods lead to improved household food and nutritional security, and ultimately result in holistic empowerment of women," Karthikeyan said.
The partnership, which will be effective till December 2023, will support the WSHGs by providing technical assistance and capacity development, directly contributing to long-term food security, the official said.
Karthikeyan pointed out that working with SHGs to create livelihood opportunities, improving household nutritional security and increasing women's participation in decision-making were some of the core objectives for the Mission Shakti Department.
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