Fill the Nutrient Gap Ethiopia – Summary (July 2021)
(Reliefweb)—Over recent decades, Ethiopia has made considerable progress in reducing the prevalence of stunting, yet, 37 percent of children under five years of age remain affected. Stunting generates an economic loss of ETB 55.5 billion (USD 1.8 billion) every year, equivalent to approximately 16 percent of Ethiopia’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (1). Persistent rates of child wasting, widespread micronutrient deficiencies and poor quality of diets for both children and adults are among some of the nutrition related challenges faced by Ethiopians. In an effort to understand and address factors determining access to nutritious diets in Ethiopia, and building on the findings of the Cost of Hunger Study of 2013 and the Zero Hunger Strategic Review of 2019, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI) of the Ministry of Health, with technical assistance from the World Food Programme (WFP), conducted a Fill the Nutrient Gap analysis (FNG) in 2020. The analytical process sought to understand local drivers that affect the availability, cost and affordability of a nutritious diet.
The FNG process began at the end of 2019, through a multi-stakeholder inception meeting and was followed by a technical training of EPHI and partners. Identification of data, analysis and modelling was conducted from January to October 2020, with technical discussions and validation of results with stakeholders conducted between October and December 2020.
The two-pronged FNG approach consists of a review of existing secondary literature and a Cost of the Diet analysis (which uses linear programming for lowest cost diet optimization). Consumer Price Index food prices (November 2018 – October 2019) were used to estimate the minimum cost of energy sufficient and nutritious diets at zonal and regional level. Expenditure data from the Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) of 2015-2016 was used to assess the extent to which Ethiopian households are able to access these diets.