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New DG ECHO guidance on IYCF-E programming

In March 2013, the European Commission adopted a Communication on nutrition, which included DG ECHO's Staff Working Document on 'Addressing undernutrition in emergencies'. This further demonstrates the EU's commitment towards nutrition. This policy document clearly acknowledges the increased vulnerability of infants, young children and lactating women and the commitment of the EU to address their specific needs during emergencies.

Enabling adequate feeding and care practices is challenging in humanitarian contexts. Gaps in service provision and support have been identified in recent crises, with likely negative consequences for the nutrition and health of these particular groups. In response, DG ECHO has developed guidance for Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergency (IYCF-E) programming for its staff and partners. This guidance recalls the fundamentals of IYCF-E and provides practical guidance to ensure that IYCF-E concerns are taken into account across sectors and throughout all stages of humanitarian programming. In acute emergencies, IYCF-E is not about long term behaviour change; it is about immediate practical actions to support mothers so they can breastfeed their children for as long as possible, support safe and appropriate feeding to infants who are not breastfed, help carers and families to provide appropriate complementary food for children, and support the nutrition and well-being of mothers.

The IYCF-E – Guidance for programming is available in English and French at http://ec.europa.eu/echo/en/what/humanitarian-aid/nutrition. An Arabic version will be made available soon. A presentation of the guidance is also available in video format. 

For further information, please contact: 

Catherine Chazaly, email: catherine.chazaly@ec.europa.eu or 

Sophie Whitney, email: marie-sophie.whitney@echofield.eu

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New DG ECHO guidance on IYCF-E programming. Field Exchange 49, March 2015. p55. www.ennonline.net/fex/49/dgecho

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