SUN Progress in Ethiopia

Chair of the National Coordinating Body, Ferew Lemma discusses progress and opportunities for the future of his country through Scaling Up Nutrition

Video Transcript ▶

Malnutrition rates in young children are going down in Ethiopia; specifically stunting rates that are going down by nearly 2.5 per cent per year. Large scale programmes to improve access to health posts in remote and drought-stricken areas, and to provide safety nets for vulnerable families, have been scaled up over the same period.

The Government of Ethiopia has set up a high-level multi-stakeholder platform for nutrition comprising seven ministries. It includes country representatives from United Nations agencies, bilateral donors as well as technical and research institutions and soon will add representatives from the private sector and civil society.

Ethiopia is in the process of updating its National Nutrition Programme, which provides the framework for strategic objectives and interventions to improve nutrition across relevant sectors including health, agriculture, education, water, labor and social affairs and women, children and youth affairs. A number of programmes that address both the direct and underlying causes of malnutrition are already being implemented at scale in Ethiopia. Increasing their alignment is expected to contribute significantly to reduced malnutrition among women and children. Putting this multi-sectoral plan in place will require budgeting and mapping of contributions from partners and by sector as well as tracking expenditure through different channels.

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    Priorities & Opportunities

    Priorities for scaling-up nutrition include implementation of the revised National Nutrition Program; scaling-up nutrition-sensitive interventions across government ministries; strengthening existing nutrition-specific interventions; and improving harmonization of the current Nutrition Information System.


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    Progress & Impact

    With support from joint efforts across key sectors the National Nutrition Coordination Body is spearheading a coordinated national effort to scale up nutrition guided by the multi-sectoral approach set out in the National Nutrition Program.


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    Among children under five years in Ethiopia, 43.2% are stunted, 9.7% are wasted, while 1.7% are overweight; and 10.8% of infants are born with low birth weight.


Photo credits left to right: © Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; © UNICEF/Lemma; © Micronutrient Initiative
Data Source: Demographic and Health Survey for Ethiopia, 2011

SUN Government Focal Point

H.E. Dr. Kesete

State Minister of Health; Chair of the National Coordinating Body

Acting: Dr. Ferew Lemma

REACH Facilitator and Advisor to the Minister of Health

Donor Convener

UK Department for International Development (DFID)