India signs 200 million dollar agreement with the World Bank

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India has signed a 200 million dollar agreement with the World Bank for the National Nutrition Mission known as POSHAN Abhiyaan, which was launched by Narendra Modi in March. The mission will be applicable on 315 districts across all states and union territories and hopes to help the government in achieving its goal of reducing stunting in children 0-6 years of age from 38.4 percent to 25 percent by the year 2022.

A large module of the mission involves gradual scaling-up of the interventions supported by the ongoing World Bank assisted Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS) Systems Strengthening and Nutrition Improvement Project (ISSNIP) over a 3-year period to all districts in India.

It focuses on improving the coverage and quality of ICDS nutrition services to pregnant and lactating women and children under 3 years of age. The project will include investments in improving the skills and capacities of ICDS staff and community nutrition workers, instituting mechanisms of community mobilization and management of services for better outreach to beneficiaries for nutrition impact.

The project will further ensure convergence of all nutrition-related schemes and provide performance-based incentives to states and community nutrition and health workers, facilitating a focus on results.

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