On November 23, 2018, Ethiopia’s government made a monumental commitment to address the country’s challenges around food and nutrition by approving its first ever, and much anticipated, Food and Nutrition Policy. With its development supported by Save the Children through its USAID-funded Growth through Nutrition project and Irish AID-funded Ethiopia Civil Society Coalition for Scaling Up Nutrition (ECSC-SUN) Movement, the policy was approved by the Council of Ministers in a move that hopes to meet the nation’s targets to end malnutrition and stunting by 2030.
The policy addresses a range of technical, legal and institutional issues. It is intended to guide and improve the engagement and accountability of state and non-state actors leading food and nutrition security related initiatives in the country.
Growth through Nutrition, involved in the policy’s development since its earliest stages, provided significant technical and financial support. Key learnings obtained from study tours in Uganda and Brazil in 2015, made possible through the financial and technical support of Save the Children’s USAID-funded ENGINE project, the World Food Program and UNICEF, were also utilized to guide the policy development process. In addition, Save the Children hired two consultants to support policy development under the leadership of Ministry of Health and through the support of the Irish Aid funded ECSC-SUN project.
Israel Hailu, Deputy Chief of Party for Save the Children’s Growth through Nutrition Project and former Senior Policy and Capacity Building Advisor during policy development, remarked that through its USAID funded ENGINE project, Save the Children “…led the drafting of concept notes and content outlines for drafting the Food and Nutrition Policy of Ethiopia.” Israel also served as a member of the Policy Development Core team and Technical Working Group established to lead the Food and Nutrition Policy development and finalization process.
“We congratulate the Ethiopian government on this breakthrough and celebrate the success as a key partner who have delivered to that effect,” Israel said.