UNICEF, WFP Launch Partnership to Help Fight Malnutrition in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa June 25/2020(ENA) The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and World Food Programme (WFP) have launched today a three-year partnership in Ethiopia to support the government in preventing acute malnutrition in children and mothers.

According to a press release sent to ENA, the initiative targets 100 of the most vulnerable Districts in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples, Somali and Tigray regions.

It also aims to promoting health and nutrition in 600 schools in the country.    

According to the press release, this year, 4.4 million people in the country will require treatment for severe and acute malnutrition, of which 2.7 million are children, and 1.7 million pregnant and breastfeeding women.

“We are concerned that millions of children remain susceptible to malnutrition, and we are already seeing worrying signs of increased malnutrition due to COVID-19 and the desert locust infestation,” said UNICEF Representative Adele Khodr.  

However, she added that the agencies can support the Government of Ethiopia to drastically prevent the root causes of malnutrition and reach every child and mother who requires treatment for malnutrition, she added.  

WFP Representative and Country Director, Steven Were Omamo, on his part pointed out that the Government is investing heavily in the nutrition, health and education of current and future generations of Ethiopians.

“We are confident that this new partnership will add importantly to those efforts and thereby contribute to the Government’s vision of social and economic transformation in Ethiopia.”

Both agencies believe that sustained and intensive action is required, combining school and community-based prevention activities with expanded access to treatment for children and mothers with acute malnutrition in selected hotspot districts.

This approach would help Ethiopia move towards the goal of decreasing acute malnutrition in children from nearly 10 percent to less than three percent by 2030, stated the press release.