UNICEF and the World Food Programme have launched a three-year collaborative initiative for the prevention of acute malnutrition in Ethiopia. The initiative focuses on children and mothers in 100 weredas and promotes health and nutrition in 600 schools. The partnership will select vulnerable weredas in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities & People, Somali and Tigray regional states. It is expected to help Ethiopia decrease acute malnutrition in children from nearly 10pc to less than three percent by 2030. There have been signs of increased malnutrition due to COVID-19 and the desert locust infestation, according to UNICEF Country Representative Adele Khodr. This joint effort can support the government of Ethiopia to drastically help prevent the root cause of malnutrition, according to the director. This year, 4.4 million people in the country will require treatment for severe and acute malnutrition – 2.7 million children and 1.7 million pregnant and breastfeeding women. In order for the country to meet the Sustainable Development Goal of eradicating hunger and malnutrition, the annual rate of reduction in acute malnutrition needs to increase ten-fold.
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