Menu ENN Search

Complementary feeding in emergencies

Author: Emergency Nutrition Network, UNICEF
Year: 2024
Resource type: Article

Special Compilation

Together with colleagues from UNICEF, we are delighted to present this special Field Exchange (FEX) compilation of complementary feeding programming in fragile and emergency contexts. Following on from our successful ‘Special Section’ focusing on this topic in issue 68, we felt that it was important to expand upon the evidence presented, given the wealth of experiences of complementary feeding programming in such contexts, and provide an array of additional experiences documenting actions for improving the diets of young children in fragile settings. 

In this compilation we build upon the special section in issue 68 with an array of novel content which makes for essential reading. Examples from Burundi, Ethiopia and Tanzania show us that cash transfers delivered alongside additional interventions can help address barriers to optimal feeding by addressing financial constraints, access to nutritious foods, and improving care and feeding practices, especially when interventions are jointly designed and implemented by social protection and nutrition colleagues. UNICEF highlight in their new programming guidance that small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements (SQ-LNS) should be used as part of an integrated approach targeting younger children in fragile contexts, especially those with high burdens of undernutrition, to support optimal complementary feeding by improving nutrient density of the diet. UNICEF also provides guidance on home fortification using SQ-LNS and micronutrient powders highlighting the importance of an integrated approach.

A cost-of-the-diet assessment in Nigeria found that the availability of nutrient-rich foods is not the main barrier to typically poor households obtaining a nutritious diet, rather that there was an affordability gap of around 120% of their income for both nutritious food and non-food items. In addition, a systematic review found that exclusively breastfed infants did not require additional water, even in hot weather, but that hot temperatures may negatively influence feeding practices due to misconceptions and circumstances that make exclusive breastfeeding difficult. Meanwhile regarding communication around, and support for, complementary feeding, in India it was found that while digital messaging is a promising model to reach women with critical messages, for example around infant and young child feeding, it cannot replace the critical interpersonal communication offered by frontline workers. In addition, a study in Rwanda highlighted the positive contribution of peer-to-peer activities in improving IYCF practices (this article was previously available online only).

There is a critical need to understand and share learning about complementary feeding programming, especially in challenging contexts. This is particularly timely given the recent release of the updated WHO Guideline for Complementary Feeding of Infants and Young Children 6-23 Months of Age, the multiple crises we are facing around the world and the compounding effects of climate-induced emergencies (including droughts and environmental degradation), widespread conflict including the war in Ukraine and conflict in the State of Palestine, and the continuing socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope that this compilation will help you in your efforts to design ambitious and effective programmes to protect and improve the diets of children in early childhood, especially within emergency contexts and protect our most vulnerable populations from malnutrition. Happy reading!

Download

FEX_Complementary-feeding-in-emergencies_Special-compilation.pdf (PDF, 17.7mb)

More like this

FEX: A global perspective on improving the diets of infants and young children

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Grainne Moloney is Senior Nutrition Advisor at UNICEF headquarters, New York Linda Shaker Berbari is...

FEX: Small-Quantity Lipid-Based Nutrient Supplements for severe malnutrition

View this article as a pdf This is a summary of the following programming guidance: UNICEF (2023) Small Supplements for the Prevention of Malnutrition in Early Childhood:...

FEX: MAM and SAM cases reduced through a stunting prevention programme in Malawi and the associated costs averted

View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici By Jackson Mason-Mackay, Arghanoon Farhikhtah, Mica Jenkins, Trust Takudzwa Mlambo, Emma Lefu and Nancy...

FEX: Ghana: Sustained growth effects of early lipid-based nutrient supplements

This is a summary of the following paper: Bentil H, Adu-Afarwuah S, Prado E et al. (2023) Sustained effects of small-quantity lipid-based nutrient supplements provided during...

FEX: Conducting situation analysis as a first step to improve young children’s diets: examples from Ethiopia, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe

Lisez cet article en français ici Key messages: Context analysis is a crucial step in understanding the particular gaps faced by caregivers in providing young children...

FEX: Editorial

This issue of Field Exchange speaks largely to the themes of scaling up and integration of nutrition programming, as well as multi-sector approaches to addressing...

FEX: Regional Perspective: South Asia

Zivai Murira is the Regional Advisor for Nutrition at the UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (ROSA), Kathmandu, Nepal All forms of malnutrition - stunting, wasting and...

FEX: Editorial

View this article as a pdf Dear readers, a warm welcome to the 69th edition of Field Exchange in which we feature a varied selection of content from around the globe. After...

FEX: Ethiopia: Are ultra-processed foods a barrier to appropriate complementary feeding?

This is a summary of the following paper: Barriers to appropriate complementary feeding and the use of ultra-processed foods: A formative qualitative study from rural Oromia,...

FEX: Draft Guidelines for the Marketing of Ready to Use Supplemental Foods for Children

In the absence of guidelines to govern the marketing of ready to use supplemental foods (RUSFs), members of the UNSCN NGO/CSO constituency drafted a guidance to specifically...

FEX: Food-based recommendations for improving complementary feeding in Zimbabwe

Jen Burns Senior Technical Advisor at Helen Keller International, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Advancing Nutrition Pamela Ncube-Murakwani...

FEX: Complementary Feeding in Emergencies Special Section

Global crises are having a severely detrimental impact on the diets of young children, making this featured special section on complementary feeding in fragile and emergency...

FEX: Nutrition in emergencies: Do we know what works?

Summary of paper1 Location: Global What we know: Nutrition action in emergencies is well accepted and attracts significant resources. There is a lack of evidence on what are...

FEX: Local versus offshore costs of RUTF and LNS

Summary of Research1 Segrè J, Liu G and Komrska J. (2016) Local versus offshore production of ready-to-use therapeutic foods and small quantity lipid-based nutrient...

Blog post: Some reflections on NEX South Asia

Reflections on the latest Nutrition Exchange South Asia edition on improving young children's diets. Recently I was asked to provide a summary of the two South East Asia...

Themed content from Field Exchange

Once per year we publish a Field Exchange issue with a special focus. Previous examples include nutrition cluster coordination, nutrition-sensitive programming, urban...

FEX: Sudan, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Yemen: Lessons from complementary feeding programming in emergencies

View this article as a pdf Gwénola Desplats is a Senior Nutritionist with ENN. Jodine Chase is the Infant Feeding in Emergency Core Group Facilitator at ENN. Key...

FEX: Complementary feeding in emergencies programming – Yemen case study

This is one of four case studies in this special section of FEX to highlight the importance of a strong contextual analysis to guide the appropriate design, implementation and...

FEX: Regional Perspective: West and Central Africa

Simeon Nanama is the Regional Nutrition Advisor at the UNICEF West and Central Africa Regional Office (WCARO) Arnaud Laillou is a Regional Nutrition Specialist (prevention...

FEX: WHO/UNICEF/WFP/UNHCR informal consultation on moderate malnutrition management in U5’s

Summary of meetinga The World Health Organisation (WHO) convened a meeting in Geneva (September 30th - October 3rd, 2008) with the overall aim of answering the question, 'What...

Close

Reference this page

Emergency Nutrition Network, UNICEF (2024). Complementary feeding in emergencies. www.ennonline.net/special-compilation/complementary-feeding-in-emergencies

(ENN_7800)

Close

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.