State Minister Eyob Confers with UN Assistant Secretary-General & SUN Movement Coordinator

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Addis Ababa (ENA) November 25/2022 State Minister of Finance Eyob Tekalign on Thursday met with Gerda Verburg, UN Assistant Secretary General and Coordinator for Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Movement.

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SUN Movement is an international platform that works to realizing the vision of a world free from malnutrition in all its forms, by 2030.

Few weeks ago Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, has launched the Yelemat Turufat Initiative where the government promote production of diversified foods from animal source, vegetables and fruits.       

During the meeting Gerda stated that Ethiopia joined the SUN Movement in 2012 and that opportunity will create to mobilize the private sectors, United Nations, donors, businesses as well as the academia.  

In this regard, utilizing the SUN platform will help the government for donors and the UN Nutrition and others to align behind the government plan.  

Gerda also indicated that the private sectors has raised few challenges and one of them is the tax imposed to import food premix is affecting the production of products that need premix.

Many countries are affected by climate induced drought and flooding, COVID-19 and conflict, hyperinflation of the food price is making it difficult for the countries to pay their debt, according to Gerda.  

In this regard, she suggested Ethiopia to be a strong voice for other countries and utilize the debt relief for programs such as improving the food and nutrition status of their citizens.  

The State Minister of Finance on his part said that there is significant transformation on the leadership understand of the rational for the investment for Seqota Declaration, the promise made by the government to end child undernutrition in Ethiopia by 2030, which was not the case before.

Currently the government high level officials are converted disciples and fully support the investment for Seqota Declaration. He also recognized the leadership provided by the Ministry of Health on this.

Moreover, Eyob stated that we will be using the opportunities that Gerda indicated to mobilize resources for nutrition. Eyob further indicated that 60 percent of the government budget goes to pro-poor activities.

Ethiopia is advocating for debt relief and though not easy the government will utilize debt relief to be used for people focused investment through discussion with lenders.

Eyob also pointed out that the government supports SMEs and also there are financial institutes to provide finance for SMEs.

The issues raised on access to finance and premix tax relief is something that he will follow up, according to Finance Minister.

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