ECSC-SUN Hands Over the 2017 Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Champion's Award to Former First Lady

Monday 2 July 2018

The Ethiopian Civil Society Coalition for Scaling-up Nutrition (ECSC-SUN) and the Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) jointly handed over the 2017 SUN Nutrition Champion Award to H.E. Roman Tesfaye, former First Lady of Ethiopia. The former first lady won the award for playing a pivotal role in moving the nutrition agenda forward through collaborating and networking with government institutions, civil society, donors, UN agencies, the private sector and the media.  

The award is given to inspirational individuals who have made an outstanding contribution towards scaling up nutrition. The official award ceremony took place in Abidjan, Côte d‘Ivoire, on the 8th of November 2017 at the SUN Movement Global Summit in Cote d’Ivoire at Sofitel Hotel; Dr. Ferew Lemma, SUN-Government focal person had received the award on Roman’s behalf. At the ceremony, the SUN Movement announced nine Scaling Up Nutrition Champions, three Lifetime Achievement Awards and one SUN Country Team Award recipients.

The award handover ceremony took place on May 31, 2018 at the Federal Ministry of Health, in the presence of H.E. Dr. Amir Aman, Minister of Health, H.E Dr. Kebede Worku, State Minister of Health and Chair of the National Nutrition Coordinating Body (NNCB), Ekin Ogutogullari, Country Director of Save the Children in Ethiopia and Chair of the ECSC-SUN coalition members and other stakeholders.

The former first lady appreciated the Federal Ministry of Health and the ECSC-SUN or their continued support to scale up nutrition and expressed her commitment to keep working towards addressing nutrition issues. At the ceremony, Roman said, “The fact that I am no longer the first lady doesn’t mean that I will not be working on nutrition anymore. In fact, the former Prime Minister, Hailemariam, and myself have recently established the Hailemariam and Roman Foundation which will mainly focus on health and nutrition issues.” Through this Foundation, “our cooperation will be revitalized,” she added.

The Scaling up Nutrition - SUN Movement is a renewed effort and commitment to eliminate all forms of malnutrition in the world by 2030. The Government of Ethiopia is among the 60 countries that joined the SUN movement and has committed itself to an Ethiopia that is free from malnutrition in all its forms by 2030. Currently hosted by Save the Children, the ECSC-SUN has been operational since June 2013 and has now grown into a strong coalition of 56 member organizations, all committed to improving nutrition.

Former first lady Roman had integrated nutrition as one of the strategic priority areas of her advocacy work in supporting the implementation of the National Nutrition Program, “The Seqota Declaration”; a commitment to end child under‐nutrition in Ethiopia by 2030 and champion the ‘Sustainable Under‐Nutrition Reduction in Ethiopia’. Her role in nutrition focuses on liaising with Federal and Regional Government bodies to draw more attention, commitment and resource to the nutrition agenda.

In his Keynote address, Ekin congratulated and extended gratitude to Roman for her excellent leadership and commitment in implementing the multi-sectoral national nutrition program in Ethiopia. He also commended Irish Aid for their generous financial support and guidance.  “I also assure you that, ECSC-SUN remains committed to support the government of Ethiopia’s national nutrition initiatives to ensure that mothers and children have a healthy life,” he added.

Roman was also awarded by the National Nutrition Coordinating Body for her great leadership and contribution on the national nutrition program implementation earlier in 2017.