Menu ENN Search

Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergencies (IYCF-E) - What Does the Science Tell Us?

A scientific repository

On this page you will find a repository that provides an overview of what peer-reviewed journal articles currently state on Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) in an emergency context. It is compiled for the IFE Core Group by the Johns Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, and the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. It is maintained in partnership with the Emergency Nutrition Network and with financial support from the USAID Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance.

The repository aims to provide the reader with a snapshot of what is published with updates on a quarterly basis. All publications provide emerging evidence related to IYCF in emergency settings such as natural disasters, conflicts, and displacement including refugee settings. 

The repository originates from the identified need to develop a system to compile and share new IYCF-E research and build a virtual library of some of the most recent findings.

Since our last update in April 2023, we have added 40 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from Albania, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, Chile, Cyprus, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Greece, Kenya, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malta, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Spain, Somalia, South Korea, Syria, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Venezuela.

The full repository provides summaries for 116 scientific publications published 1 January 2022 - 31 June 2023. Titles link to full papers if they are Open Access. Publications are selected using specific search engines (see 'About the Repository').

UPDATE 17 July 2023:
Many new publications focused on implementation challenges in crisis and post-crisis settings.  One study detailed challenges to implementing relactation interventions in humanitarian settings. Others evaluated complementary feeding interventions, including randomized trials of conditional cash transfers and mHealth messaging for internally displaced families in Somalia, and a peer-led complementary feeding intervention in Uganda. Focus groups with asylum-seekers and refugees in Italy highlighted the importance of adapting complementary feeding recommendations to incorporate “family foods,” or staple foods from the family’s culture of origin. One international review examined the implementation of essential newborn care – including breastfeeding and skin-to-skin contact – in armed-conflict settings. Another study found local conflict to be a poor predictor of IYCF practices or child mortality across the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in part because of the unequal access to humanitarian resources across provinces.

Other studies focused on the protective effects of breastfeeding on infant and child health. Two studies examined how inadequate breastfeeding practices contribute to the burden of child pneumonia and anemia in Ethiopia. Another study examined the relationship between inadequate breastfeeding and child stunting in Indonesia, which is put into further context by a review of Code violations across the country. Other topics include the impact of public health emergencies on food security and nutrition, including disruptions to food systems, health systems, social protections, and worsened racial disparities in exclusive breastfeeding rates.

New publications continue to discuss the impact of climate change and natural disasters on IYCF practices. Research examining disaster settings in Australia, Indonesia, Pakistan, and the gulf coast of the United States emphasizes the importance of incorporating the needs of breastfeeding mothers into disaster management and planning. A recent perspective article urges policymakers to incorporate measures to protect, promote, and support breastfeeding in emergency preparedness and climate mitigation policies.

Some publications focused on IYCF in the context of infectious disease providing up-to-date recommendations for preventing mother-to-child transmission of monkeypox, hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis. Among these are a systematic review examining the impact of Option B+ on HIV transmission in Africa and an editorial outlining barriers and facilitators to meeting WHO targets worldwide.

If you know anyone who would benefit from these updates, please direct them to this link to sign up for our email listserv. We aim to publish updates every 3 months – look out for out next update in October 2023.

UPDATE 17 April 2023:
Since our last update in January 2023, we have added 21 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from Ethiopia, the United States, Australia, Indonesia, Belgium, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, France, Uganda, Ukraine, Brazil, and Italy.

UPDATE 16 January 2023:
Since our last update in October 2022, we have added 18 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings.  In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from the United States, Turkey, Cameroon, Ethiopia, India, Lebanon, Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Australia, and Yemen.

UPDATE 19 October 2022:
Since our last update in July 2022, we have added 14 NEW publications to our scientific repository related to IYCF in emergency settings. In addition to several international reviews, this update provides emerging evidence from Turkey, Uganda, Guinea-Bissau, Thailand, Australia, Israel, Brazil, Canada, the United States, Poland, Croatia, Germany, Lithuania, Ukraine, and Indonesia.

UPDATE 20 July 2022:
Since the 1st of January, 23 peer reviewed articles have been published on IYCF-E. In addition to international reviews the repository provides emerging evidence from Iraq, Bangladesh, Colombia, Uganda, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Indonesia, Lebanon, Italy, Turkey, the United States and Australia.

Science to your inbox

If you would like to receive quarterly updates on the new resources uploaded to the repository please subscribe below and you will be added to our listserv. 



Reference this page

IYCF-E Repository.



Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.