Coordination mechanism: Cluster
Year of activation: 2000

The subnational cluster in Tigray has a P4 Cluster Coordinator, and P3 Information manager officer. Under the subnational also additional cluster has been established which is led by P3 (dedicated coordinator) in Somali region
Coordination arrangements: The Emergency Nutrition Coordination Unit (ENCU) is a Government unit supported by UNICEF and housed within the Ethiopian Disaster Risk Management Commission (EDRMC). It leads cluster coordination in addition to being the technical emergency nutrition arm of the Government of Ethiopia (GoE). As such, the ENCU leads and coordinates nutrition partners at federal, regional and district levels for a coherent, effective emergency nutrition preparedness and response to save lives and improve the nutritional status of vulnerable populations during emergencies. There are sub-national ENCU (RENCU) coordination staff (coordinators and IMO from government) in 6 regions of Ethiopia. UNICEF as a CLA, supports at subnational level the RENCU teams in the coordination functions.

Country Key Contacts

Ines Lezama

Nutrition Cluster Coordinator/ENCU Team Leader ilezama@unicef.org

Helina Tufa Dinku

Deputy Team Leader hdinku@unicef.org

Edom Hailu Alemu

Information Management Specialist ealemu@unicef.org

Key Content

Highlights from Ethiopia

GNC July Newsletter

The July newsletter is out! Summer is starting to wind down, but our nutrition efforts never do. In this edition, we share news, team member spotlights, updated resources, and an Advocacy Focus country – where we share our response and the joint efforts w..

Read this news

Mid Year Report 2024

January to June 2024

Situation Analysis

o    Ethiopia is facing a complex multifaceted humanitarian crisis, driven by multiple factors such as recurrent drought, floods, conflicts, displacement, disease outbreaks, and economic situation due to inflation.  These factors have adversely affected the food security, livelihoods, health, and nutrition status of millions of people, especially children under five, pregnant and lactating women, and other vulnerable groups.
o    The severity of acute malnutrition is observed in 30 zones from 8 regions, with a very high prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) at greater than 15% percent in some zones of Tigray and between 10% and 15% percent in other zones in the region. Oromia region reported an increase in severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases in children under five in last months in 2023. From January to August 2023, the number of deaths among children related to acute malnutrition in stabilization centers had increased in Afar, Amhara, Oromia, and Somali regions, mainly due to co-morbidities and late referrals in relation to conflict and humanitarian access.
o    In the last 12 months, 13 SMART surveys have been conducted in several livelihood zones and woredas of 5 regions, Somali, Amhara, Afar, Oromia, and Tigray. The findings of the surveys show very high prevalence of global acute malnutrition (WHZ)(>15%GAM) in 3 zones: Afder in Somali, Northwestern and central in Tigray[1], high (GAM <15 and >10%) in 4 zones:  Teru/Fati Rasu in Afar, East Bale in Oromia and Southern East and East zones in Tigray, and medium (5 - <10%GAM) in Wadla woreda in South Wollo, Amhara and southern zone in Tigray. The unique survey conducted in IDP sites in Tigray (all zones) showed a worrisome situation in the displaced population living in sites, 26.5% of GAM rates. 
o    Pre-existing gender inequalities increased in the last crisis and can still increase, making it more difficult for some groups to access assistance than others. At the same time, changes in employment conditions can lead to some men, women, girls, and boys to take on non-traditional gender roles.
o    Gender roles in households shifted as a result and some men and women have taken on non-traditional gender roles such as housekeeping plus infant care by men and generating income activities have been taken on by women, which cause increased calorie and nutrition needs. Inadequate and insufficient nutrition affects all populations with pregnant and lactating women, and children under five. 



In summary, overall country-wide, from January to December 2023:

A total of 674,556 children with severe acute malnutrition are admitted to therapeutic feeding programme units. This makes 54% percent of the HRP target for the year for severe acute malnutrition cases management.

Besides more than 1.6 million children with moderate acute malnutrition and 1.0 million pregnant and lactating women malnourished have been assisted translated to percent of the HRP target for moderate acute malnutrition treatment has been accomplished.

Overall, the cluster achievement for the semester is  76%  percent.




The response that was provided by the nutrition cluster members was partially aligned with the needs and objectives, but faced several challenges and constraints, such as:
•    Inadequate funding[2], which limited the scale and quality of the response, as well as the procurement and distribution of nutrition supplies, mainly for MAM supplementation in children and supplementation in pregnant and lactating women
•    Insecurity and access restrictions, which hampered the delivery and monitoring of nutrition services, especially in conflict-affected areas, even if the mobile health and nutrition teams were deployed.
•    Dwindled the number of Health workforces
•    As the Health workers are not receiving their monthly salary regularly, they are not willing to work overnight to continue the nutrition service (SC) 24/7.
•    Acute malnutrition prevention efforts in a humanitarian context are not enough
•    Interventions from other sectors to mitigate causes of malnutrition are needed- insufficient coverage
•    Simplified approach protocol was endorsement process took one year
•    Limited consensus about the multisectoral nutrition-centered situation at the regional level
•    Low awareness and knowledge, which could prevent the reduced demand for nutrition services

Intersectoral collaboration

The Cluster has been promoting and implementing the intercluster sectoral collaboration approach with 5 clusters and NGO as implementing partners in 7 woredas in the Somali region and in Oromia. Currently, the scaling-up uptake is ongoing with 7 clusters and one common outcome: reduced burden of malnutrition and mortality. (Agriculture, Food, Education, health, Nutrition, child protection and WASH). A call for Action has been developed.

Advocacy, Intersectoral Collaboration and Preparedness
  • In the link of documents
    • We need to add:
      • Gender and nutrition paper
      • Simplified approaches protocol
      • Statement of concern from Tigray, Advocacy note from Amhara

Key Figures



Number of SAM under-five children in need
Number of MAM under-five children in need
Number of PLW counselled (one-on-one) on IYCF
Number of moderately acutely malnourished PLW in need


Total Partners

UN agencies


Nutrition Cluster Key resources

list of important documents

Ethiopia National Guideline for Management of Acute Malnutrition May 2019

The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) developed the first Protocol for the Management of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in 2007, and the Guideline for the Management of Moderate Acute Malnutrition (MAM) in 2012. This National Guideline for the Management of Acute Malnutrition in Ethiopia replaces...


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