Ethiopia launches National Food and Nutrition Strategy Baseline Survey Report


Ethiopia launched the National Food and Nutrition Survey (FNS, 2022) preliminary report on Thursday, March 23. This survey was commissioned by the Ethiopian Ministry of Health and implemented by the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), with support from UNICEF and collaborating partners (GAIN and Nutrition International). The FNS, 2022 is funded by The Power of Nutrition, The Eleanor Crook Foundation, The END Fund, Rotary International, and the World Bank.
“The government of Ethiopia is implementing various food and nutrition-related policies and programmes to achieve the national and Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) as well as improve the food and nutrition security of its citizens. The Ministry of Health (MoH), in collaboration with Implementing Ministries and development partners, is also coordinating the implementation of the national Food and Nutrition Strategy,” said Dr. Lia Tadesse, Minister of Health.
Ethiopia has experienced a steady reduction in the prevalence of stunting over the past two decades from 58 per cent in 2000 to 34 per cent in 2022. Early initiation of breastfeeding (initiation of breastfeeding within 1 hour of birth) has shown a slight improvement from 72 per cent (in 2019) to 77 per cent in 2022, and exclusive breastfeeding has increased from 59 per cent in 2019 to 61 per cent in 2022.
This is a result of the Government and partners’ ongoing commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms through creating policy space, expanding service delivery platforms, and capacity-building initiatives.
Despite the progress, Ethiopia is amongst the countries with the highest number of stunted children under five in the world. The average prevalence of stunting in developing countries is 25 per cent. In addition, only 8 per cent of children aged 6 to 23 months consumed the minimum recommended 5 out of 8 food groups. Overall, 47 per cent of children were in severe food poverty, meaning they consumed 2 or fewer food groups a day contributing to an observed high prevalence of wasting at 11 per cent.
“On behalf of the UN, Donors, and our development partners, we would like to commend the leadership and commitment of the Government for driving forward the Food and Nutrition Strategy baseline survey,” said Dr. Aboubacar Kampo, UNICEF Representative in Ethiopia. “Generating evidence and understanding of the nutritional status of children and their families is critical to formulating timely and relevant interventions as well as policy decisions to improve food and nutrition security across the country.”
In recognition of the remaining challenges in nutrition, health, hygiene and sanitation, the Government of Ethiopia launched the National Food and Nutrition Strategy (2022-2030), with a commitment to end malnutrition in all its forms in Ethiopia. This report provides robust data on the nutrition status of women, children, and adolescents and will inform on the implementation of the strategy across sectors.
This report validates the national programmatic priorities and the need to accelerate multisectoral responses and initiatives to improve food and nutrition security in Ethiopia, including large-scale food fortification, micronutrient supplementation programmes, and delivery of essential services for nutrition.
In addition to providing evidence on the state of food and nutrition security in Ethiopia, implementation of the FNS 2022 achieved significant local capacity building for EPHI as a reference laboratory for micronutrient assessments and food samples testing in the region. All micronutrient and food assessments are conducted locally in Ethiopia.