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Nigeria, India, Ethiopia named among highest contributors to global burden of malnutrition

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Nigeria, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan have been named among the highest contributors to the global burden of malnutrition coming after Ethiopia.

This was made known by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition in a statement made available to Ripples Nigeria announcing the launch of the Scaling Up Nutrition Business Network (SBN).

The SBN is to support small and medium-sized entrepreneurs involved in Ethiopia’s food sector to increase the availability and affordability of safe, nutritious food.

The SBN is one of four global networks within the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement which supports 61 Countries, including Ethiopia, to develop a multi-stakeholder approach to scale up and invest in nutrition.

“There are so many business opportunities for the private sector to engage in the nutrition agenda of Ethiopia. GAIN facilitates the Sun Business Network in Ethiopia to bring businesses together, to facilitate partnerships, build capacity, identify challenges, and support solutions,” the statement quoted Ton Haverkort, Country Director GAIN Ethiopia.

It further said, “Ethiopia in recent years has registered significant strides in addressing malnutrition in the last decade. Stunting declined from 58.0% to 38.4%, underweight from 41% to 23.6%, and wasting from 12.0% to 9.9% from 2000 to 2016. Despite such progresses, Ethiopia is still one of the highest contributors to the global burden of malnutrition after India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nigeria.

READ ALSO: UNICEF to screen three million children for malnutrition in Nigeria’s North-East

“Micronutrient deficiencies such as iron deficiency, anaemia, vitamin A and D, iodine and calcium are still posing significant threat to the economy and loss of lives. This makes the launch of the SBN timely in driving private sector engagement in Ethiopia’s food systems.

“SBN’s approach in Ethiopia includes convening businesses around national nutrition priorities, building national and global partnerships to scale up investments in nutrition and advocating for an enabling environment to promote business involvement in nutrition”, it said.

“Despite being one of the key players in the food system, private sector’s massive contribution for improving malnutrition in Ethiopia was side-lined for far too long. SBN Ethiopia shall bring this agenda forward on all platforms to make sure that the private sector becomes part of the solution,” noted Abinet Tekle, National SBN Coordinator.

According to Dr. Frew Lemma, senior adviser to the the office of the state minister (programs) of the federal ministry of Health, Ethiopia, “SBN Ethiopia will enable us facilitate the transformation of the Ethiopian food system and nutrition by ensuring availability, accessibility and affordability of safe, diverse and nutritious food and diets for all,”

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