The Ministry of Heath, WHO and UNICEF Celebrate World Breastfeeding Week in Jordan

This year’s theme is ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility’

01 August 2021

Amman, Jordan, 1 August 2021 -   Today, the Jordanian Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization and UNICEF mark the beginning of the World Breastfeeding Week.  This year’s theme is ‘Protect Breastfeeding: A Shared Responsibility’, reinforcing the importance of collective efforts to promote and protect breastfeeding for every child.

“The Ministry of Health of Jordan through the Primary Healthcare Administration is committed to promoting breast feeding as a best start in life for every newborn,” said Dr. Ghazi Sharkas, Assistant Secretary-General for Primary Health Care.

This year, the world is marking the 40th anniversary of the International Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes.   The code is a landmark policy framework aimed to effectively manage the sale of breast milk substitutes and avoid the negative impact on the rates of breastfeeding, which undermines the health and nutrition of Jordan’s youngest population.

In Jordan, while more than 9 out of 10 children were breastfed at some point in their young lives, only 26 percent [1] of children were exclusively breastfed (fed nothing but breastmilk) during the first six months of life. This rate in Jordan is much lower than the regional average of 34 percent[2] .

“This year’s celebration of World Breastfeeding Week is a stark reminder to the importance of breastfeeding, which provides high quality nutrients and energy for newborns, infants and children under the age of two years,” said Tanya Chapuisat, Representative, UNICEF Jordan.  “To reach the sustainable development goals by 2030, UNICEF will continue to support the Ministry of Health in promoting and protecting breastfeeding practices, and overall child nutrition.”

Breastfeeding is the best food for newborns and infants. Research has shown that adolescents and adults, who were breastfed are less likely to be overweight or obese, and demonstrate improved IQ test results[3]. Studies have proved that breastfeeding is good for mothers as well as for children. It not only reduces the risk of postpartum depression and diabetes, but also lowers risk of breast and ovarian cancer later in life4,5.

“Today is an opportunity to highlight the progress made in promoting and supporting breastfeeding for its the incomparable benefits as a best start in life for every child,” said Dr Jamela Al-Raiby, Acting Representative, World Health Organization, Jordan.  “Yet, to lay emphasis on protecting breastfeeding and the need for more collective work to be accomplished.”

Thanks to the generous contributions from US Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration and USAID.  With their support, and under the leadership of the Ministry of Health, UNICEF in cooperation with WHO is implementing the national breast-feeding interventions as part of the overall maternal and child health programme.

About WHO:

The World Health Organization is a specialized agency that provides global leadership in public health within the United Nations system. The WHO Constitution, which establishes the agency's governing structure and principles, states its main objective as "the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.

For more information about WHO and its work on breastfeeding, visit


[1] Jordan Population and Family Health Survey.  2017-2018

[2] UNICEF 2020.  Global Data base

[3] Health Services Research, 2005.  Improved Estimates of the Benefits of Breastfeeding Using Sibling Comparisons to Reduce Selection Bias

4 WHO 2021. Breastfeeding. Available at:

5 Victora, R. Bahl, A Barros, G.V.A Franca, S. Horton, J. Krasevec, S. Murch, M. J. Sankar, N. Walker, and N. C. Rollins. 2016. "Breastfeeding in the 21st Century: Epidemiology, Mechanisms and Lifelong Effect." The Lancet 387 (10017):475-490.

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Dima Salameh
Communication Officer


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

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