The Government of Ethiopia is committed to reducing the prevalence of stunting, by building on existing multi-sectoral coordination systems to accelerate the scaling up of proven nutrition interventions and monitoring progress at all levels. Since 2008, the Ethiopian government has defined a multi-sectoral National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) which is implemented through 5-years National Nutrition Programmes (NNP). The second NNP from 2016 to 2020 provides the framework for strategic objectives and interventions in all 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 plan and a government coordination component. Nutrition-sensitive agriculture is now included in the Productive Safety Net Programme (PSNP) and the Agriculture Growth Programme (AGP).
The Council of Ministers gave the Ministry of Health the mandate to coordinate government sectors and development partners for nutrition. A high-level multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder platform was established, the National Nutrition Coordination Body (NNCB), comprising ministers from seven sectors: Health, Agriculture, Water and Energy, Education, Industry, Labour and Social Affairs and Women, Children and Youth Affairs. It also includes country representatives from United Nations agencies, bi-lateral donors as well as technical and research institutions and soon will add representatives from the private sector and civil society. The NNCB meets quarterly and is chaired by the State Minister for Health who is the identified SUN Government Focal Point and co-chaired by the State Ministers of Agriculture and Education. It is mandated to review policies and take strategic decisions on programme implementation.
In addition to the NNCB, several platforms are in place to ensure alignment and coherent approaches among vital constituencies and sectors. The National Nutrition Technical Committee (NNTC), co-chaired by the Ministries of Health and Agriculture, consists of directors and technical officers from eight ministries including the Finance & Economic Development Ministry and one representative from UNICEF. The NNTC provides guidance on the implementation of decisions taken by the NNCB. Three technical groups are working under supervision of the NNTC, one on monitoring and evaluation (MER-WG), one on food fortification and one on programme implementation.
The Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), as the organisation chairing the Monitoring, Evaluation and Research Working Group of the National Nutrition Programme in Ethiopia, is in charge of running the NIPN, with support from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). The project started in January 2018.
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