This press release was cross-posted from GHC member, Save the Children 

Fairfield, Conn. (August 24, 2016) – Save the Children US has received a five-year (Sept 1, 2016-Aug 31, 2021) $72.9 millionaward from USAID/Ethiopia to provide ongoing assistance to the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) with its international partners, JHPIEGO, Land O’ Lakes, Population Services International, The Manoff Group, Tufts University and World Vision, and local NGOs, to strengthen the institutional and policy environment, develop its human resources for nutrition, and implement strategies that address poverty and food security and social and behavioral barriers to optimal nutrition. The USAID Growth through Nutrition project (Cooperative Agreement No: AID-663-A-16-0007) targets the “1000 Days” households—the critical window for preventing stunting—with activities and Social and Behavior Change Communications to promote the use of services, products, and practices for optimal nutrition. As a follow-on to USAID’s flagship ENGINE project, Growth through Nutrition will build on, expand, and strengthen many of ENGINE’s interventions while making significant new investments in agriculture and WASH, ensuring that nutrition efforts are coordinated across organizations, and harmonizing efforts within GOE agencies. Growth through Nutrition will continue ENGINE’s strategy, focused on supporting country-led policies and programs, strategies, and institutions at all levels, while bringing in additional government and local NGO involvement, as well as the private sector, and the full range of nutrition stakeholders who work on addressing stunting in Ethiopia through partnerships and collaboration.

Despite great progress, undernutrition rates in Ethiopia remain poor. The key child indicators of stunting, wasting and underweight are at 40%, 9% and 25% nationwide.The situation is worse in rural areas, and in Growth through Nutrition project areas, with stunting rates at 46% in Tigray, 44% in Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People (SNNP), 42% in Amhara and 38% in Oromia. In a renewed commitment to improving nutrition, the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) has declared its goal to end child undernutrition by 2030. This pledge made in the Seqota Declaration 2015 recognizes malnourished children have reduced cognitive, schooling and employment outcomes. The GOE also finalized the next five year (2016-2020) Nutrition Plan of Action. The Growth through Nutrition project will support the new initiative and NNP-2 reaching over 1 million “1000 Days” households, and aiming to reduce stunting by 20% over the life of the project. Concurrently the project will further strengthen the institutional and policy environment needed to sustain and increase reductions in stunting into the future, to ultimately contribute to achieving the GOE’s pledge.

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