A woman feeds to her child a nutritious porridge made from locally available products, at the health post in the village of Maderia, in Gemechis, a woreda (district) of Oromia Region. Other women are seated next to her. They learned how to prepare the porridge during a session led by a health extension worker. Health extension workers are government-paid health workers, often working in their community of origin, who provide community-based health promotion and disease-prevention services..
In July/August 2014, Ethiopia is nearing the end of a joint European Union (EU)-UNICEF national nutrition security programme that is building on government-led efforts to permanently reduce the rates of under-five child and maternal under-nutrition. The programme is part of a four-year (2011–2015) UNICEF/EU global initiative, with multiple regional, national and community partners. It focuses on four countries in sub-Saharan Africa and five in Asia but aims to influence nutrition-related policies throughout these regions. The Africa programme – Africa’s Nutrition Security Partnership (ANSP) – focuses on Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali and Uganda. It is intended to benefit directly 1 million children and 600,000 pregnant and lactating women – and to benefit indirectly 25 million children and 5.5 million pregnant or lactating women across the continent over the long term. At the macro level, the programme builds policy capacity for nutrition security; institutional capacity; data and knowledge sharing; and the scale-up of nutrition interventions. At the national and district levels, it promotes government and community ownership of development processes, including training, mapping and the mobilization of intra-community networks, such as women’s groups. And it utilizes a cross-sector approach, combining nutrition, health, water and sanitation, agriculture and social protection interventions to maximize the positive effects on child and maternal nutrition. ©UNICEF Ethiopia/2014/Nesbitt