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The 3rd annual conference of the Food and Nutrition Society of Ethiopia (FoNSE) was conducted on January 23, 2010 at the head quarter of the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) under the theme “Nutrition Intervention in Ethiopia-An Integrated Approach (NNP)”.

Opening the conference, Dr. Amha Kebede, Deputy Director General of the Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute (EHNRI) said The National Nutrition Programme (NNP), which has an integrated and multi-sectoral approach, is beginning to curb malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies in the country during the last two years.

Ethiopia remains one of the Sub-Saharan countries with highest rate of malnutrition. “Malnutrition remains world’s most serious health problem and the single biggest contributor to child mortality”, added Dr. Amha. Hence, he said, the government of Ethiopia has developed a National Nutrition Strategy in 2007 in order to reduce food, nutrition, and diet-related problems.

The Deputy Director General attributed the success of the NNP mainly to the commitment and continued support of the World Bank and other UN agencies.

Addressing the conference, representative of World Bank country office Yuki Isogai said that the Ethiopian government has been taking positive steps recently to tackle the problem of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies.

According to the representative, the World Bank has so far provided 30 million US dollars in support of the NNP.

The conference focused on such thematic issues as the general concepts of the NNP, its accomplishments over the past one year and the way forward for the health, nutrition as well as economic development of Ethiopia.

During the conference period, participants discussed on some areas of activities performed in the context of National Food Nutrition Program over the last one year. Conference participants also discussed on list of items that ought to be done in the upcoming period, mainly on nutrition, health, economic and development areas. The conference was attended by around 200 scientists and health professionals who are working in the field of food and nutrition in various organizations and regional health bureaus.

During the conference it was pointed out that FoNSE, which was established with the main objective to contribute to the efforts of the Government, NGOs and Communities in alleviating the food and nutrition problems of the country, is actively engaged in promoting the efforts to improve nutritional status of the population by strengthening knowledge translation, advocacy, dissemination of accurate, appropriate and timely information for decision and policy makers in particular and the general public at large.