Current Affairs 2017 - March

UN appoints David Beasley to head World Food Programme

United Nations General Secretary Antonio Guterres has appointed David Beasley as head of the Rome-based World Food Programme (WFP).

Beasley will replace Etharin Cousin, who has been the WFP executive director since 2012. He is former governor of US state of South Carolina.

About World Food Programme (WFP)

  • The WEF is the food-assistance branch of the United Nations.
  • It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.
  • It works to help people who cannot produce or obtain enough food for themselves and their families.
  • It was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) Conference.
  • Its headquarter is in Rome (Italy) and has more than 80 country offices around the world.
  • It provides food assistance to an average of 80 million people in 75 countries each year.
  • It is a member of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and part of its Executive Committee.

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Odisha becomes first state to adopt SHG based financial inclusion model

Odisha became the first state in the country to adopt Self Help Groups (SHG) based model for financial inclusion model to extend banking services in the unbanked areas through SGHs.

In this regard, state government has inked agreement with the State Bank of India (SBI). The SHGs formed under the Odisha Livelihood Mission (OLM) will be eligible to provide banking services.

Key Facts
  • The agreement assumes significant as 70% of the gram panchayats in the State do not have brick and mortar bank branches.
  • As per the agreement, OLM will function as corporate agent and around 3 lakh SHGs operating under it will be the banking correspondents (BCs).
  • In the first phase SHGs will be engaged as BCs in around 1000 remote GPs in scheduled areas having no banking facilities.
  • Gradually in later phases, it will be extended to 4000 non-banked GPs. Subsequently entire State will be covered under the financial inclusion programme.

About Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM)

  • Odisha Livelihoods Mission (OLM) an autonomous society of Department of Panchayati Raj of the state government. It commenced its operations in 2012.
  • It is successor of Orissa Poverty Reduction Mission (OPRM) launched in 2006 to implement various poverty reduction programmes in the state.
  • OLM presently is implementing both National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) and National Rural Livelihoods Project.
  • Odisha was the first state in the country to launch NRLM in its bid to bring down rural poverty by promoting diversified and gainful self-employment to the rural poor.
  • OLM aims at: (i) Mobilizing all poor households into functionally effective SHGs and their federations (ii) Enhancing their access to bank credit and other financial, marketing and technical services (iii) Building their capacities and skills for sustainable and gainful livelihoods development; (iii) Converging various schemes for efficient delivery of economic and social support services to poor with optimal results.

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