India Introduces New Food Aid Program to Feed More
Despite its status as one of the world's largest producers of food, India is also one of the most malnourished countries in the world, ranking 65 out of 79 countries on the 2012 Global Hunger Index — a system that measures and tracks hunger by region and country. In order to feed more people and improve the nation’s hunger status, India’s government introduced a food aid program, according to CNN.
The new program, costing $22 billion per year, will sell subsidized wheat and rice to 67 percent of 1.2 billion people in India as an expansion on an existing program that supplies food to 218 million people.
With the new program, 75 percent of people who live in rural areas and 50 percent of those who live in urban areas will receive five kilograms of grain per month at the subsidized prices of 3 rupees ($0.05) for rice, 2 rupees per kilogram for wheat, and 1 rupee per kilogram of course grains. These portions and prices will be fixed for three years. The current program, Antyodaya Ann Yojana, will continue to supply 35 kilograms of grain per month to the poorest households. The new program will also ensure that pregnant women and lactating mothers are given a maternity payment of 6,000 rupees ($99) and that children aged six to 14 years of age receive take-home rations or be provided with hot, cooked meals.