DMPQ-Discuss India’s food security response during Covid-19 pandemic.

With a reduction in COVID-19 infections, it is important to focus on the pandemic’s disruptive impact on the food security and livelihoods of the poor and marginalised.

There was a ‘dramatic worsening’ of world hunger in 2020, much of it related to the fallout of COVID-19. ‘The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World’ report, estimates that around a tenth of the global population – up to 81.1 crore persons – were undernourished in 2020.

Measures initiated by the Government

Vulnerable and marginalised families in India continued to be buffered against the food crisis by its robust Targeted Public Distribution System (TPDS). As data shows, there was an unprecedented spike in the uptake of subsidised and free foodgrains during the lockdown.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY), 81.3 crore NFSA beneficiaries received an additional 5 kg of foodgrains per person per month and 1 kg of pulses per family per month, free of cost, for eight months from April to November 2020.

Under the Atmanirbhar Bharat package, 8 crore migrants were provided 5 kg of foodgrains per month, free of cost. The government also allowed NGOs/civil society organisations to buy rice and wheat at subsidised prices directly from nearby Food Corporation of India (FCI) warehouses. During the third phase of PMGKAY, about 89% of the allocated foodgrains were distributed to beneficiaries.

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