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Ethiopia, 18 April 2012: EU donates €3 million to UNICEF for nutrition security

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 18 April 2012 - UNICEF Ethiopia announced a 3 million euro grant for nutrition security by the European Union for four years (2012-2015) to support and improve child and maternal well-being for the country.

This support is part of the EU-UNICEF joint action for improving nutrition security in Africa targeting four countries namely, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali and Uganda with a total EU contribution of 14.95 million euro. The interventions of the project have also been articulated at continental level with support to the African Union Headquarters, and at regional level with support to the two West and East regions-West Africa Health Organization (WAHO) and East Central and Southern Africa-Health Community (ECSA- HC).

The project has foreseen duration of 48 months. The purpose of the joint action is to better integrate and position nutrition security in the African development agenda while contributing to the overall achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 1, 4, 5 and 8, by up-streaming policy and nutrition security awareness, building institutional capacity, developing nutrition information systems and knowledge management and supporting scaling up nutrition interventions at continental, regional and country levels:

  • MDG Goal 1- Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  • MDG Goal 4- Reduce child mortality
  • MDG Goal 5- Improve maternal health
  • MDG Goal 8- Develop a global partnership for development

In Ethiopia, about half a million children, 100,000 adolescent girls and 100,000 pregnant and lactating mothers in 20 targeted woredas of Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations and Nationalities Peoples (SNNP) regions will benefit from the EU contribution.

The project interventions in Ethiopia are aiming at: strengthening of nutrition within Ministry of Health and coordination bodies at sub-national level ; support operational research models to link food security data systems to nutritional data; assess, readjust and expand Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU) model; ssupport the development of National Plans in nutrition and food security; support the implementation of National Nutrition Programme (NNP); in depth- analysis of community based nutrition programmes; and elaboration of awareness tools and assure countrywide dissemination.

This EU grant will be also used to strengthen the coordination of the multi-sectoral national nutrition programme at federal level and to support the existing Community Based Nutrition (CBN) programme with additional high impact nutrition interventions. UNICEF has been supporting the Federal Ministry of Health to rollout the CBN programme since 2008.

The main objective of CBN is to improve the nutritional status of children under two years of age by strengthening communities’ capacity to assess their malnutrition problems, analyze their causes, and take action by making better use of family, community and outside resources. To date, a total of 228 woredas are fully implementing the CBN.

The EU grant will strengthen the CBN programme with a particular focus on stunting reduction interventions in the 20 targeted woredas.

“The generous support from the European Union becomes crucial and timely as Ethiopia gears up to accelerate the reduction of stunting. UNICEF will continue to work hand in hand with the Government of Ethiopia to implement the recommendations in order to further reduce the prevalence of stunting in the country” said Ted Chaiban, Country Representative of UNICEF.

In Ethiopia, the 2011 Demographic Health Survey (DHS) has indicated that stunting has reduced from 51 percent to 47 percent in the last five years. However, stunting is still a major challenge in the country. In February 2011, Ethiopia convened a national consultation workshop to accelerate stunting reduction.

Accordingly, the National Nutrition Programme is being revised to incorporate the recommendations from the national stunting reduction workshop. Ethiopia’s National Nutrition Programme is supported by several bilateral and multilateral donors. Currently, the programme has a funding gap of US$45 million to address the countries’ needs for the next 5 years.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:



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