Ethiopia: National Nutrition Programme / MDG-F Joint Programme


While Ethiopia has experienced impressive economic growth and a dramatic drop in the poverty rate, a significant number of children under five are still underweight or stunted. The Ethiopian government has developed a National Nutrition Strategy (NNS) and National Nutrition Programme (NNP) to help the country reach the Millennium Development Goal of halving by 2015 the number of people who suffer from hunger.

These plans formed the framework for the MDG-F Joint Programme, which had four components:

  1. Creating sustainable out-patient services at the community level to treat children with severe acute malnutrition.
  2. Improving caring and feeding practices of children and mothers through Community-Based Nutrition interventions.
  3. Improving the production and use of locally-available complementary food.
  4. Strengthening the nutrition information system and M&E mechanisms.

The joint programme used the existing decentralized service delivery structure and the multi-sectoral coordination mechanisms at the federal, regional, woreda (district) and kebele (neighborhood) levels established by the National Nutrition Programme.

Its main achievements were:

  • Community-based management of acute malnutrition was expanded to 418 Health Extension Programmes in the targeted Woredas.
  • Quarterly Child Health Days were undertaken for nutritional screening and a total of 17,994 malnourished children and 11,029 malnourished pregnant and lactating women were identified and received food rations.
  • A total of 37,552 severely malnourished children received effective treatment for SAM. This was way beyond the target of 14,640 children and was due to the establishment of more Outpatient Therapeutic Feeding Programs, in addition to the regular screening and referral of children. 
  • Some 512 Health Extension Workers were trained on the Integrated Refresher Training package. Some 44% of under-two children in the targeted woredas were weighed every month and mothers/caregivers were counseled to improve infant and young child feeding practices.
  • Anemia levels have decreased by almost 10 percentage points among both women and children: 44% of children and 17% of women were anemic in 2011, compared to 54% of children and 27% of women in 2005.
  • The prevalence of underweight children in the MDG-F supported woredas fell sharply, from 50% in 2010 to 9% in January 2013.


Click for more detailed results of the Joint Programmes in Ethiopia. 


The Joint Programme in action


Programme Dates 03 Sep 2009 - 31 May 2013
Net funded amount $7,000,000
Participating UN agencies FAO, UNICEF, WFP, WHO
National partners Ministry of Finance and Economic Development; Federal Ministry of Health, Woreda Health Bureau
Share |