In September 2010, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia joined the SUN Movement. At the time, Ethiopia had set up a high-level multi-stakeholder platform for nutrition comprising seven ministries. It included country representatives from United Nations agencies, bilateral donors as well as technical and research institutions. There was also a National Nutrition Programme, which provided 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.

Strategic Processes for Scaling Up Nutrition

In 2015, Ethiopia committed to ending undernutrition by 2030 with the Seqota Declaration. The National Nutrition Coordination Body (NNCB) is chaired by the Minister of Health and co-chaired by the Ministers of Agriculture and Education. The NNCB convenes nine ministries from relevant sectors and also includes representatives from United Nations (UN) agencies, donors and academia. It also has a supporting National Nutrition Technical Committee (NNTC). The NNCB is planning to expand membership and develop regional coordination platforms.

The Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit, in the Ministry of Agriculture, convenes partners implementing emergency nutrition interventions. Ethiopia has a Nutrition Development Partner Group (NDPG) which engages UN agencies, donors and civil society. The Department for International Development (DFID) and the UN Children’s Fund act as donor conveners and civil society participates in the NDPG and other relevant platforms.

In 2013 the Ethiopian Civil Society Coalition (ECSC) was established in order to galvanise efforts to alleviate the burden of malnutrition. The business community has rallied its support through the Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce. There is also a Multi-stakeholder Food Fortification Working Group that has been instrumental in setting quality standards for salt iodisation and flour and oil fortification.

Last updated: October 2015

The Government of Ethiopia is committed to reducing the prevalence of stunting by 20% and underweight to 15% by 2020, by building on existing multi-sectoral coordination systems to accelerate the scaling up of proven nutrition interventions and monitoring progress at all levels. The NNP II 2016-20 provides the framework for strategic objectives and interventions across relevant sectors including health, agriculture, education, water, labor and social affairs, women, children and youth affairs. The NNP is costed which includes details of interventions in key sectors (food security and agriculture, water, education and social protection) and includes a log frame of activities, a disaster risk management and a government coordination component. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture is now included in the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) and the Agriculture Growth Program (AGP). Both have nutrition objectives, activities and indicators include social protection and a focus on the 1,000 day window of opportunity. The “Health Development Army” is an initiative led by the Ministry of Health, that brings together 3 million frontline extension workers who empower communities to take charge of their own health from the grassroots.

Last updated: October 2015

Ethiopia has advanced in the development of a sustainable financial tracking system which allows an estimation of the contribution of donors to key interventions of the NNP and to mobilise new partners. Financial information is available for other sectoral programs but it is not accounted against the NNP.

The challenge for Ethiopia is to improve the harmonisation of financial information to ensure financial expenditures across sectors can be tracked. For this purpose, Ethiopia has started efforts to have nutrition included in the National Health Accounts (due 2016). The Government continues to work towards fulfilling their commitment to allocate domestic financing of USD 15 million per year to nutrition until 2020.

Last updated: October 2015

Key Figures

Under Five Stunting 40.4%
Low Birth Weight 10.8%
0-5 Months Exclusive Breastfeeding 52.0%
Under Five Wasting 8.7%
Under Five Overweight 2.6%
Woman Anaemia 15-49 years 19.2%

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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 Conveners

  • UK Department for International Development (DFID)

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 ▶