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The Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI)IFPRI, NIPN and the Food Security Portal (FSP) Project co-hosted a webinar on “COVID-19 and its impacts on childhood malnutrition and nutrition related mortality” on 23rd September.

The webinar brought together 88 participants from different sectors, including policymakers, academia, development partners and NGOs, to discuss the evidence and policy implications for Ethiopia. Derek Headey, IFPRI Senior Research Fellow, presented IFPRI’s analysis on economic shocks and child wasting and included a modeling for Ethiopia. You can access the presentation here and the Q & A session here.


On May 29, 2020, we have hosted our second webinar on “the role of Vitamin D in treating COVID-19 Patients: Current Scientific Evidence”. The event included a presentation by Professor Susan J. Whiting, distinguished Professor Emeritus of Nutrition at College of Pharmacy and Nutrition from University of Saskatchewan, Canada, and reflection by panelists representing the program implementers (EPHI-PHEM/EOC), pulmonary and critical care subspecialist physicians, and researchers who gave their reflection on the topic from the different scenarios.

The presentation explains the current global health threat, COVID-19, and the role of vitamin D in treating COVID-19 patients. The presentation also highlights the metabolism of vitamin D and why vitamin D deficiency is common. Furthermore, it highlights the vitamin D deficiency in Africa and Ethiopia, the functions of vitamin D in inflammation, and immune response in which it explains the meta-analysis done on innate (e.g cathelicidin) and acquired (cytokines) immunity and prevention of the lower respiratory infection. It also stresses on how vitamin D status can prevent or mitigate the severity of COVID-19. Additionally, it mentioned the possible options for intensive care unit (ICU) treatment. The presentation and reflection were followed by a question and answer session which engaged many experts from different sectors and institutions. Over 85 participants attended the webinar. You can find the webinar presentation here

NIPN Policy webinar  COVID-19

NIPN’s objective is to provide decision-makers with timely information which can guide the policy process for improved nutrition outcomes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, NIPN has been seeking innovative ways to inform decision-makers, by tapping into its existing partnerships and by taking advantage of webinars to reach a large audience.

In Ethiopia, the first case of COVID-19 was detected on March 13, 2020.  The Ethiopian government responded quickly and has taken a comprehensive set of policy actions to reduce the risk of further expansion of the virus.

On May 14, the Ethiopian Public Health Institute, the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Policy Studies Institute (PSI) joined hands to organize a webinar on the impact of these measures and of the international economic slow-down on Ethiopia, focusing specifically on the food and nutrition security, the economy, the feasibility and prospects of some prevention measures for nutrition and health, and on the agriculture value chains. The event included a panel of four speakers who presented their recent analysis on these topics, and which was based on either phone surveys, economic modeling or on an analysis of existing health and nutrition datasets. These brief presentations were followed by a question and answer session which engaged many experts from different sectors and institutions. Over 220 participants attended the webinar. You can find the recording of the event here and the presentations here

NIPN Seminar Sept 2018 Minten IFPRI Food_systems_

Food away from home is becoming more important In HCES 2011, urban areas: 16% of food budget on food eaten away from home for richest quintile, one-quarter of food expenditures Implication for the foodservice sector 


Elements of a food systems approach are reflected in the NNP, NSA, Sequota, etc. however, to fully leverage this to inform
implementation, help adapt, and learn from process capacity building and research is needed

NIPN Seminar March 2019 Hirvonen IFPRI Animal sourced foods and child stunting March 2019

Empirical evidence linking ASFs to child growth is varied Handful of ASF interventions do find sizeable growth impacts Nutrition-sensitive livestock interventions also sometimes show signs of impact, but typically also use behavioral interventions Observational studies link growth to livestock ownership (East Africa) Historical studies link adult heights to ASF consumption patterns

NIPN Seminar Nov 2019 Hoddinott Cornell Nutrition Sensitive Social Protection

Reducing undernutrition is of intrinsic and instrumental value Reducing chronic undernutrition requires investments in nutrition-sensitive social protection and agriculture Existing evidence from Ethiopia and elsewhere indicates that “just” providing cash or food has limited effects on chronic undernutrition

Develop a research agenda

Develop a research agenda based on identified knowledge gaps At country level push this research agenda:  drive the research and not the reverse Keep track of research Organise data storage and demand condition for ethical clearance and committee with EPHI. Organise peer reviews of research protocols before submission to the EC.    

Considerable reduction in stunting rates since 2000

Considerable reduction in stunting rates since 2000. One of the fastest reductions in the world Little improvement in avg birth sizes; 20% are born stunted Calls for focus on maternal health & nutrition In 2016, growth faltering occurs later – likely due to improvement in ‘intensive’ breastfeeding practices.


The highly skewed crop portfolio of irrigation in parts of Ethiopia toward ‘chat’ (up to a third of irrigated plots in the study area) needs more attention from policy makers and researchers on its impact on nutritional outcomes and its high water requirement