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India giving high priority to nutrition: Minister

Aug 13, 2012

Krishna Tirath, Minister for Women and Child Development (WCD), India, highlighted the initiatives taken by the country towards addressing the problem of malnutrition at the Global Nutrition Meet held at London on August 12. The meet was jointly organised by the UK and Brazil on the eve of the closing of the Olympics 2012, which was chaired by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Tirath met Andrew Mitchell, the British Secretary of State, to foster better partnerships with the British Government and the Department for International Development; and discussed establishing institutional collaborations in the field of child development, nutrition, protection, and women’s empowerment.

A request was also made to India to consider taking a lead role in the ‘Scaling Up Nutrition’ (SUN) movement, a coalition involving more than 135 different agencies including government bodies, and setting up a secretariat and knowledge resource centre for information and knowledge exchange for Asia.

Speaking at the Global Nutrition Meet, Tirath said that nutrition is being given highest attention by the Indian government and it stands committed to reducing the burden of under nutrition. She mentioned that the PM’s Nutrition Council has taken several key decisions to address the issue.

Tirath highlighted the Integrated Child Development Services scheme, which reaches about 80 million children under six years and 20 million expecting and nursing mothers through a network of 1.3 million anganwadis. The scheme is being strengthened and restructured with programmatic, institutional and managerial reforms along with enhanced financial commitment from an annual average of US$ 3.5 billion to over US$ 6.5 billion.

The investment would improve infrastructure, professional management, monitoring, community participation and accountability of the programme, the WCD minister said.

Tirath also highlighted the achievements under the National Rural Health Mission. She said that while a Multi-sectoral Nutrition Action Programme in 200 high burden districts is being considered, the National Food Security Bill, 2011 is also under consideration of the Parliament.

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