Despite some progress in addressing malnutrition, India faces a high burden of anaemia, with more than half of women of reproductive age affected. According to the 2020 Global Nutrition Report, 34% of children under five are stunted and 17% are wasted, higher than the regional average. Malnutrition can prevent brains from developing fully, bodies from growing properly, immune systems from working effectively, and can lead to an increased, lifelong risk of disease and disability.
India’s public distribution system reaches 813.5 million people. Along with the country’s other social safety net programs, these platforms present a promising delivery mechanism to provide food and nutrition to under-served populations with increased nutritional needs, particularly women and children.