Hyderabad: United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has joined hands with the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) to improve food, nutrition security, and livelihoods in India against the impacts of climate change.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Bishow Parajuli, WFP India Representative and Country Director, and Dr. Jacqueline Hughes, Director General, ICRISAT.

"This is a strategic partnership between the WFP and ICRISAT as both are aligned by their vision of food security, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable communities. It comes on the day that the pioneering UN Food Systems Summit kicks off in New York," ICRISAT said.

The increasing/frequent climate crises and shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic have worsened global hunger, threatening food security, nutrition, and the livelihoods of millions," Parajuli said. "This partnership strengthens efforts to bring together science, knowledge, and implementation frameworks to bolster food security, nutrition, and livelihoods that are resilient to climate change.

Dr. Jacqueline said climate-resilient food security, nutrition, and livelihoods, especially for smallholder farmers and ecologically vulnerable communities, are focus areas for ICRISAT. "With this partnership, we aim to generate ideas and frameworks for policy positions relevant not just for India but regionally and globally," she said.

Dr. Jacqueline said the latest IPCC report has sounded an alarm over the impact of climate change on agriculture and food security. "A significant part of this partnership will be focused on vulnerability analysis at the state level in India and will be directed towards evolving a sustainable food systems approach," she said.

WFP in India and ICRISAT will work jointly to promote research, advocacy, and awareness-raising on traditional nutritious crops, undertaking food and nutritional security analysis, and adaptation strategies, among other engagements.

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