What is WBTi?
Launched in 2004, the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) assists countries to assess the status of and benchmark the progress in implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding in a standard way. It is based on the WHO’s tool for national assessment of policy and programmes on infant and young child feeding. The WBTi assists countries to measure strengths and weaknesses on the ten parameters of policy and programmes that protect, promote and support optimal infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices.
What is WBCi?
Breastfeeding has been recognized as the most important intervention for child survival and optimal growth and development. However, throughout the world, optimal breastfeeding rates are abysmally low, stagnating for over a decade, because of the lack of the enabling environment where women can practice optimal breastfeeding successfully.
Protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding is not free. It costs money. As the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi) analysis of the implementation of the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding shows, very few of the 51 countries that conducted the assessment could implement all the strategies indicated in the Strategy. The primary obstacle was lack of adequate resources, especially financial resources.
The main problem was that no one had any idea of what protecting, promoting and supporting breastfeeding would actually cost. The few estimates existing consider only some aspects of promotion, even though there is evidence that several actions, including effectively enforcing the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Maternity Protection need to be taken concurrently if breastfeeding rates have to improve.
In 2012, International Baby Food Action Network Asia (IBFAN Asia) took on the challenge of trying to estimate the minimal cost of implementing the Global Strategy in its entirety through the World Breastfeeding Costing Initiative (WBCi).