What is the problem?

Emergencies responses are often characterized by large influxes of unsolicited donations of breastmilk substitutes, bottles, teats, and other baby food and milk products. Generous donations often do more harm than good in emergencies.

The International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and relevant subsequent World Health Assembly Resolutions are all the more important in emergencies. Monitoring and reporting Code violations in emergency situations are key components of all emergency responses.

What can be done?

Breastfeeding plays a vital role in emergencies, protecting infant and young child survival, health and development, as well as maternal health and the bonding between mother and baby, so precious in difficult situations. Yet protection promotion and support of breastfeeding is lacking in emergencies, and humanitarian agencies lack information and training on how to protect promote and support breastfeeding, as well as how to support non breastfed children while not undermining breastfeeding. See the calendar and action folder from the World Alliance for Breastfeeding (WABA) World Breastfeeding week 2009: Breastfeeding- a vital emergency response. Breastfeeding – a vital emergency response written by ENN and IBFAN, as key members of the “IFE core group”, with input from other key collaborators.

IFE Core Group

IBFAN, represented by IBFAN-GIFA, is an active member of the interagency working group on Infant Feeding in Emergencies (the IFE core group). The IFE Core group is coordinated by the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN). Members of the IFE Core group include non-governmental and UN agencies.

for the list of members of the IFE Core group see:

Aim of the IFE Core group: To develop policy guidance and capacity building in the field of Infant Feeding in Emergencies.Key documents developed by the IFE Core group over the past 10 years include: