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Roadmap for Complementary Feeding in Emergencies

Author: Emergency Nutrition Network
Year: 2024
Resource type: Report

Complementary feeding (CF) refers to the introduction of complementary foods, including solid, semi-solid and soft foods (both locally prepared and commercially manufactured), to children between the ages of 6 and 23 months to complement breastmilk, which is advised to be provided until at least two years of age. CF is an essential transition that provides additional nutrients, energy and texture through feeding to support an infant's growth and development.

A well-rounded approach to infant and young child feeding (IYCF) acknowledges the interconnectedness of breastfeeding and CF, recognising that both are crucial for a child's overall health and development. Effective programming in IYCF should focus on CF and work to maintain and scale up breastfeeding practices worldwide.

In emergency situations like conflicts, natural disasters and displacement, providing support to breastfeeding and adequate and appropriate CF becomes paramount to prevent malnutrition and promote the health and optimal growth of children, especially those aged 6 to 23 months. There is a growing recognition of the importance of IYCF-E, including both breastfeeding and CFE, and several organisations – including USAID, UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the IFE-CG and ENN – have taken the lead in scaling up efforts to address CFE globally.

To further enhance the response to CFE, action has been taken to document the implementation of CF programmes and interventions in various emergency contexts. The primary goal of this documentation is to collect evidence, share best practices and identify gaps, needs and enablers that can be addressed to improve the overall effectiveness of CFE.

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Emergency Nutrition Network (2024). Roadmap for Complementary Feeding in Emergencies. www.ennonline.net/cfe-roadmap

(https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.25460590)

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