Nutrition Mission: States used only 56% of funds in last three years

Children at South Kadampara tribal hamlet in Sholayur Grama Panchayat in Attappady.

Children at South Kadampara tribal hamlet in Sholayur Grama Panchayat in Attappady.

State governments and Union Territories utilised only 56% of the total funds released under the Poshan Abhiyan or Nutrition Mission in the past three years, the government told Parliament on Wednesday.

Out of a total amount of ₹5,312 crore disbursed by the Centre between financial years 2019 to 2021, a sum of ₹2,985 crore was utilised, Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani told Rajya Sabha in response to a question.

The five States and UTs with lowest utilisation were Arunachal Pradesh (25.14%), Puducherry (28.03%), Ladakh (31.2%), Punjab (33.62%) and Uttar Pradesh (33.73%).

West Bengal, which has refused to adopt Poshan Abhiyan, was allocated ₹267 crore in the past three years but continued to have zero utilisation.

The five States and UTs that made the most use of the funds were Nagaland (98.34%), Meghalaya (98.14%), Mizoram (94.22%), Sikkim (93.13%) and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (88.2%).

Poshan Abhiyan was launched in March 2018 and aims to reduce stunting, underweight and low birth weight challenges by 2% per year; and anaemia among young children, adolescents and women by 3% per year until 2022.

The Minister said that a survey conducted by States showed that the total number of “severe acute malnourished” children in the country were less than 15 lakh.

“For the first time we have engaged with States to get precise numbers. There was a pronouncement years ago in this very House that we have eight million (or 80 lakh) plus SAM children in the country. However, with medical assistance and supervision, when States undertook a survey, that number reduced to less than 1.5 million,” Ms. Irani said.

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Printable version | Jun 28, 2022 3:47:43 pm |