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Kerala govt, WFP launch Rs 250 crore project to make ration shops paperless

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paper records no more?
paper records no more?

By NewsGram Staff Writer

The Kerala government, supported by the UN World Food Programme (WFP), has launched a Rs 250 crore project to ensure that the 14,000 ration shops in the state turn paperless, a Kerala minister said.

Speaking to IANS, State Minister for Food and Civil Supplies Anup Jacob said the pilot project in this regard has been launched and at the moment the computerization process has begun at 14 selected ration shops.

“We expect to finish the pilot project in a matter of three months and after that we will go for the state-wide implementation which we expect to finish in a year’s time. The funds for this project are not a problem as the Centre will provide them in instalments. Besides, the state government is also sharing the cost,” said Jacob.

Elaborating, Jacob said this is a project that will ensure that the state’s much-lauded public distribution system becomes more effective and transparent.

“As soon as an entry is made in a ration shop, it goes into the main server and gets accounted for in all concerned offices. All vehicles carrying food items for ration distribution would be monitored through a GPS system,” added Jacob.

The WFP is partnering the state government in its effort to improve transparency and efficiency in the delivery of food to 34 million people across the state.

“If this project to change the way food is delivered in Kerala is successful, it can be replicated in other parts of India. We are enthusiastic about this new project,” said Hameed Nuru, the WFP country director.

The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger globally. On an average, the WFP reaches more than 90 million people with food assistance in 80 countries annually.

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UN Report on Rohingya Hunger Crisis Suspended on Order of Myanmar Government

The current crisis began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked police checkpoints on Myanmar's Rakhine state and killed 12 security personnel.

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Rohingya
Rohingya refugees collect aid supplies including food and medicine, sent from Malaysia, at Kutupalang Unregistered Refugee Camp in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, Feb. 15, 2017, VOA

United Nations, October 17, 2017: The UN food aid agency withdrew a critical report revealing desperate hunger among the Rohingya Muslim minority after the Myanmar government ordered it to be taken down, the media reported on Tuesday.

The July assessment by the World Food Programme (WFP) warned that more than 80,000 children under the age of five were “wasting” – a potentially fatal condition of rapid weight loss, reports the Guardian.

The six-page document has since been replaced with a statement saying Myanmar and WFP were “collaborating on a revised version”.

That process would involve “representatives from various ministries, and will respond to the need for a common approach” that was in line with “WFP’s future cooperation with the government”.

When asked why the July report was removed, the WFP said it was withdrawn from the website “following a request by the government to conduct a joint review”, the Guardian reported.

In a statement, the agency said: “The WFP stands by its original assessment, which was conducted jointly with local authorities in Rakhine state… However WFP recognises that in a dynamic and evolving situation, it is important to coordinate closely with all partners, including the government.”

Meanwhile, the UN’s most senior official in the country is scheduled to leave at the end of the month amid allegations she suppressed another report and also attempted to shut down public advocacy on Rohingya suffering.

The current crisis began on August 25 when Rohingya insurgents attacked police checkpoints on Myanmar’s Rakhine state and killed 12 security personnel.

It resulted in over half a million Rohingya fleeing to neighboring Bangladesh, many alleging that the Myanmar Army conducted a counter-offensive that included mass killings and rapes.(IANS)

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‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ Witnesses escalating BJP-Left Confrontation

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Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Amit Shah, President of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Wikimedia

Hurling anti-left maneuver during Janaraksha Yatra Kerala, Indian BJP National President Amit Shah launched serious allegation against the ruling CPM government for triggering political violence and imputed to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan the culpability for the mass killings of party workers in the state.

The BJP Chief traced back the origin of violence-centric politics in ”God’s Own Country” to the inception of the Communist regime. “Left always paralyses the state it rules. West Bengal and Tripura witnessed similar political vehemence under the CPM government”, elucidated the President.

Criticizing the Human Rights Activists of the nation, Amit Shah pointed out that they are very selective when it comes to what they support. “You turn your eyes away when our workers die. Why is there no march in Delhi? Violence has no color. More than 120 workers of the BJP have succumbed due to political violence so far. What was their fault? They were working for the betterment of Kerala”, complained the BJP Chief.

Acclaiming BJP’s ideology enthusiastically, Shah called upon the people to join as workers. Addressing the gathering at ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’, the President added that family members of the deceased have stood by the BJP and he wouldn’t let the martyrdom of the workers go waste.

Amit Shah inaugurated the ‘Janaraksha Yatra Kerala’ at Payyannur to protest against alleged killings of party workers. The “padayatra” was led by the party’s State President Kummanam Rajashekhharan.

The National President of BJP attributed the diminishing power of the CPM to their increasing reliance on political violence. Apart from CPM, the once dominating Congress is also losing momentum thereby giving BJP the opportunity to flourish with their ideology. “More the mud of violence, more the lotus will bloom” added Shah.

The BJP Chief assured his party workers and volunteers that BJP would fight the war with CPM until emerging victorious. Shah declared, “We must all unite against the rule of the Left Government.”

Shortly after the launching of the yatra, three BJP workers adorning the National Highway 66 were ambushed by anonymous men on Monday. During his address, Shah alleged that the assailants were CPM cadres who have also destroyed BJP flags in the area.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath is ready to augment the saffron stand with his visit to Kerala on Wednesday. As per the report of Times Now, Adityanath will basically be in the Muslim-dominated district of Mallapuram.

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Global Hunger on Rise Again: UN Food Agencies

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Global Hunger Crisis
Global Hunger Crisis. IANS

Rome, Sep 16, 2017: After steadily declining for over a decade, global hunger is on the rise again, affecting 815 million people in 2016, or 11 per cent of the global population, Rome-base UN food agencies said on Friday.

The warning was made by Food and Agriculture organisation (FAO), International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and World Food Programme (WFP) along with the other bodies in a new edition of the annual United Nations report on world food security and nutrition.

“At the same time, multiple forms of malnutrition are threatening the health of millions worldwide”, the agencies were cited as saying by Xinhua news agency.

According to the report, The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World 2017, the increase — 38 million more people than the previous year — is largely due to the proliferation of violent conflicts and climate-related shocks.

Also Read: Celebrity Chef Akshay Nayyar Joins Hands with NGO Akshaya Patra Foundation to Counter Hunger Problem

Some 155 million children aged under five are stunted (too short for their age) while 52 million suffer from wasting, meaning their weight is too low for their height, it said.

An estimated 41 million children are now overweight and anaemia among women and adult obesity are also cause for concern, the report added.

And “these trends are a consequence not only of conflict and climate change but also of sweeping changes in dietary habits as well as economic slowdowns”. (IANS)