India on May 8, 2018 signed a loan agreement with the World Bank worth USD 200 million for the National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan).
The loan will support Indian Government’s National Nutrition Mission that aims to reduce stunting in 0-6 years old children from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by the year 2022.
What is National Nutrition Mission (POSHAN Abhiyaan) and how the loan will support it?
The PM’s Overarching Scheme for Holistic Nourishment (POSHAN) Abhiyaan, also known as National Nutrition Mission, was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 8, 2018 at Jhunjhunu, Rajasthan with a total budget of Rs9046.17 crore.
The initiative, largely, aims to scale-up the interventions supported by the World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) to all districts in the country over a 3-year period.
The loan will support the first phase scale up to 315 districts across all the states and union territories (UTs).
Objective of National Nutrition Mission (NNM)
• The mission aims to reduce stunting, under-nutrition, anaemia among young children, women and adolescent girls and reduce low birth weight by at least 2 percent per annum.
• Though the target to reduce stunting is at least 2 percent per annum, the mission will strive to achieve reduction in stunting from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by 2022.
• More than 10 crore people are expected to be benefitted by the programme.
• It will cover all the states and districts in a phased manner. While 315 districts will be covered in 2017-18 and 235 districts will be covered in 2018-19, the remaining districts will be covered in 2019-20.
Other key focus areas of National Nutrition Mission (NNM)
• The mission focuses on improving the coverage and quality of ICDS nutrition services to pregnant and lactating women and children under 3 years of age.
• It will encourage investments in improving the skills and capacities of ICDS staff and community nutrition workers.
• It seeks to strengthen the systems of citizen engagement and grievance redressal; and establish mobile technology based tools for improved monitoring and management of services for reaching out the beneficiaries during the critical 1000 day window for nutrition impact.
• It will additionally ensure amalgamation of all nutrition related schemes and will provide performance based incentives to states and community nutrition and health workers.