On April 18, 2019, Save the Children International (SCI) held a half-day visibility workshop at the Hilton hotel in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event welcomed Save the Children International’s CEO, Ms. Carolyn Miles, Save the Children Ethiopia’s Country Director, Mr. Ekin Ogutogullari, Growth through Nutrition Activity’s Chief of Party, Mr. Daniel Abbott, USAID’s acting Deputy Mission Director, Mr. Shelby Hunt, partners from the Government of Ethiopia, implementing partners, project advisors and over 100 participants.
Dr. Meseret Zelalem, Federal Ministry of Health Maternal Child Health Nutrition Director and National Nutrition Coordination Body Secretary, offered the opening speech. She congratulated Save the Children and implementing partners on recent impact and results on child health. “Health and nutrition indicators on stunting have improved in the past two decades in Ethiopia; stunted children under 5 years old has dropped from 56% (2000) to 38% (2016)” she stated. Despite remarkable progress, one in ten children are still stunted, and one in five children suffer from malnutrition and macronutrient deficiency, so continued attention to improving nutrition such as through the Growth through Nutrition Activity is still very much needed.
The welcoming speech offered by Ms. Carolyn Miles, CEO of Save the Children International, expressed how the changes and impact seen in nutrition in Ethiopia over the years has been dramatic. Ethiopia has recorded most of the results and achieved the 2015 Millennium Development Goals on reducing child mortality and she contributed the achievement of these goals thanks to all present during the meeting and working out in the field. In addition,Ms. Miles announced that in celebration of Save the Children International’s 100th Anniversary, Grants Under Grants, a 9 million ETB fund will be launched to support the Seqota Declaration in 3 woredas: Nader Adet, Ebinat, and Debark woredas of Tigray and Amhara Regions respectively. “Ethiopia is a country we can learn so much from,” said Miles, “and I dare to imagine a world where no child goes malnourished and no child goes hungry.”
SCI’s Chief of Party for Growth through Nutrition, Dan Abbott, gave an overview of the breadth of the Growth through Nutrition Activity to date. He highlighted implementation in 102 woredas in four regions, and 9 Seqota Declaration woredas benefiting a population of 14M. The activity supports GoE stunting reduction initiatives by mainly working on access to safe and diversified food and WASH products, construction of water points, SBCC for improved nutrition and wash practices, health service quality improvement, preservice education, multisectoral coordination, generating evidence through operational research for program and policy, gender, and women empowerment. He also highlighted the increasing focus of the project on improving adolescent nutrition as a second window of opportunity, improving access to wash products and the importance of improved integration between different components of the program in implementation areas.
Additional presentations from implementing partners showcased accomplishments and innovative ideas that brought change to the community under each of the intermediate result areas. This included live testimonies on multi-sector coordination and nutrition quality improvement from beneficiaries and health extension workers.
A panel discussion on Growth through Nutrition partnership and sub-grants to Seqota Declaration woredas was held including Sisay Sinamo, Seqota Declaration PDU Head, Teklay Woldemariam, Tigray Regional Health Bureau Deputy Head, and Mulugeta Yemam, Ebinat Woreda Administrator.
In closing, USAID’s acting Deputy Mission Director Mr. Shelby Hunt expressed how proud USAID is to support this 5-year flagship project and the need to continue building on this excellent partnership. “I want mothers and fathers, such as myself, to be empowered with the necessary knowledge and tools as well as opportunities as myself. I hope that we will meet again in a few years with many more accomplishments to celebrate” he said.
Save the Children’s Country Director Mr. Ekin Ogutogullari thanked all partners for their commitment and congratulated them on their achievements and agreed that “next time we meet, I hope we will be celebrating even more.
The meeting came to an end after a press conference and official Grants Under Grants signing between Save the Children and the Seqota Declaration woreda administrators.
Please see below for additional materials from the event:
Video of the event: Aired on EBS, YouTube (Amharic)