AfDB Grants $31.2 million to Ethiopia to boost nutrition and end child stunting

ADDIS ABABA –  African Development Fund (AfDB) said its Board of Directors has approved a grant of $31.2 million to  support Ethiopia’s effort to increase nutrition and end stunting among to children under-five years.

The Bank said the newly approved fund will go to a project that aims to boost access to services for improved health, more diverse and nutritious foods, and improving knowledge, attitude and practices on feeding, nutritional care and hygiene.

The scheme, known as Multi-sectoral Approach for Stunting Reduction Project (MASReP), targets forty districts or woredas in the country’s Amhara and Tigray regions.

The project, with a total cost of $48 million, has three programmatic components consists of climate-proofed infrastructure development for effective service delivery; livelihood support, production and promotion of nutritious foods; and strengthening institutional systems and capacity building.

“With its strong emphasis on using a comprehensive package of systemic and mutually reinforcing multi-sectoral interventions to simultaneously address the multidimensional causes of stunting, the project will significantly contribute to building ‘Grey matter Infrastructure’ of the children in the target areas and lead to improved productivity in the future,” said Nnenna Nwabufo, Director General for the AfDB’s East Africa Region.

She also said, “the project is also a demonstration of the Bank’s efforts to accelerate the implementation of the Bank’s Jobs for Youth in Africa Strategy 2016 – 2025 as well as operationalize the African Nutrition Accountability Score Card (ANACC) which the Bank launched in 2019 under the auspices of the African Leaders on Nutrition”.

Child malnutrition remains a significant development challenge in Ethiopia. In the project target area, nearly 50% of children under age 5 are afflicted by stunting. A range of factors contribute to the prevalence of undernourishment, including low dietary diversity and poor access to clean drinking water.

The Bank said the project is aligned  to the Ethiopia’s Sequota Declaration (SD), signed in 2015 as a commitment to end stunting in children under two by 2030, under the leadership of the national ministries of health; agriculture, water, irrigation and energy; education; women, children and youth; labour and social affairs; transport; and finance.

It also contributes to Ethiopia’s effort to achieve the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goal 2 to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition.