Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Protecting babies in emergencies: The role of the public

Our partners in the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) in Switzerland have been working on this guide with the Emergency Nutrition Network.

Here's the introduction:


Every year, natural and man-made disasters and emergencies affect hundreds of thousands of people. Whenever there is an emergency, we think of the children who have been affected and want to do something to help them. In particular, those of us who are parents imagine ourselves in the emergency and envisage the desperation of struggling to care for a baby or young child under such circumstances.

We give generously to appeals to help children affected by disasters. However, the sort of aid that will assist babies and young children is of a very specific type. It is very important to make sure that our donations help children and do not harm them and to ensure that governments and aid agencies do the same.

This guide has been prepared by the IFE Core Group and collaborators to help you understand the important role of the general public in protecting and supporting infants and young children caught up in crisis worldwide. Focusing on infant and young child feeding, this guide includes a description of what happens on the ground in emergencies, works to dispel some myths surrounding infant feeding in emergencies and most importantly, details on what you can do to help. Sample letters are included to get you started. We welcome feedback on what you think of this guide, and how you have used it.

You can read the sections on line or download the full guide as a pdf.

For past blog entries on infant feeding in emergencies in places such as Peru, Iraq and the UK, see the 'Past blogs by topic links' to 'HIV and emergencies'.

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