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Press centre

Press releases and news notes


Babies and mothers worldwide failed by lack of investment in breastfeeding
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 1 August 2017 – No country in the world fully meets recommended standards for breastfeeding, according to a new report by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) in collaboration with the Global Breastfeeding Collective, a new initiative to increase global breastfeeding rates.

Myanmar’s investments in children’s early development are paying dividends
YANGON, Myanmar, 15 June 2017- Investments in the health, nutrition and well-being of the youngest children in Myanmar are yielding dividends, UNICEF said as momentum is building up towards the global celebration of Father’s Day on 18 June. 

77 million newborns globally not breastfed within first hour of life - UNICEF
NEW YORK, 29 July 2016 – Some 77 million newborns – or 1 in 2 – are not put to the breast within an hour of birth, depriving them of the essential nutrients, antibodies and skin-to-skin contact with their mother that protect them from disease and death, UNICEF said.

Laws to protect breastfeeding inadequate in most countries
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 9 May 2016 – A new report by the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF, and the International Baby Food Action Network (IBFAN) reveals the status of national laws to protect and promote breastfeeding.

Series from "The Lancet" provides more evidence that breastfeeding is lifesaving – UNICEF
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, 29 January 2016 – A new series of papers just published by The Lancet provides evidence that improving breastfeeding practices could save the lives of over 820,000 children a year, 9 out of 10 of them infants under 6 months.

Better workplace policies needed for breastfeeding
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 1 August, 2015 - Every year, the global community sets aside a week to draw attention to the vital importance of breastfeeding, not only in the lives of the most disadvantaged children but also in the strength of societies.  The theme of this year’s World Breastfeeding Week, Breastfeeding and Work -- Let’s make it work!, focuses on what we can do to help millions of working mothers give their babies the best possible start in life -- by supporting stronger workplace policies that promote breastfeeding.

A letter from UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week 2014
NEW YORK, 1 August 2014 -- "Giving all children the best start in life begins with breastfeeding – one of the simplest, smartest, and most cost-effective ways we have of supporting healthier children, stronger families, and sustainable growth.

UNICEF Rings Alarm Bells as Breastfeeding Rates Plummet in East Asia
Bangkok, 1 May 2012 – UNICEF is worried about major declines in breastfeeding rates across East Asia and today called for greater attention to the critical importance of breastfeeding for children’s survival and cognitive development, as well as economic development in the region.

UNICEF celebrates Global Breastfeeding Week by taking the message beyond health clinics
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 30 July 2011 - During World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF joins global partners in calling for the benefits of breastfeeding to be broadcast...

Joint statement from the Nutrition Cluster on breastfeeding and breast-milk substitutes
NEW YORK. 21 March 2011 - During emergency situations, disease and death rates among under-five children are higher than for any other age group; the younger the...

Somali communities urged to promote breastfeeding
NAIROBI, KENYA, 30 July 2010 – Somali communities should promote breastfeeding to ensure infants get a strong and stable start to their lives...

Health facilities are vital in promoting good breastfeeding practices, says UNICEF
NEW YORK, 30 July 2010 – In World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF and its partners are asking health professionals to encourage new mothers to breastfeed...

2010: In Romania, one in three to be born in a Baby-Friendly Maternity Hospital
BUCHAREST, 17 December 2009 – UNICEF Romania and the World Health Organization announced 23 maternity facilities have been awarded...

World Breastfeeding Week celebrated in Ethiopia
ADDIS ABABA, 5 August 2009 – The Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health, WHO, UNICEF and other partners today joined over 120 countries worldwide to...

UNICEF Chief commemorates Breastfeeding Week by promoting better nutrition and child health in Nigeria
KEBBI STATE, NIGERIA, 31 July 2009 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman emphasized the contribution that breastfeeding can...

UNICEF and WHO China Statement on contaminated infant formula
BEIJING, 24 September 2008 - UNICEF and WHO Offices in China have observed with great sadness and concern the unfolding story of tainted infant formula produced...

Supporting mothers to breastfeed will improve children’s chances of survival, says UNICEF
NEW YORK, 1 August 2008 – On the occasion of World Breastfeeding Week (1 to 7 August), UNICEF, along with the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action ...

Breastfeeding within one hour of birth can reduce infant mortality
NEW YORK, 1 August 2007 – Breastfeeding babies immediately after birth can prevent a significant number of neonatal deaths in developing countries, said UNICEF today at the start of World Breastfeeding Week.

WHO and UNICEF call for renewed commitment to breastfeeding
MANILA, 20 June 2007 – Exclusive breastfeeding rates in East Asia and the Pacific are just 61per cent at four months of babies' lives and even lower, at 35per cent, at six months. And yet science has...

WHO-UNICEF multi-country infant and young child feeding workshop in Damascus
DAMASCUS, 10 May 2007– A four-day regional workshop initiated by WHO and UNICEF ended today with agreement to significantly...

Breastfeeding: A simple way to save young lives
NEW YORK, 1 August 2006 –   In a developing country, a child who is breastfed is almost three times more likely to survive infancy than a child who is not breastfed, UNICEF said today at the start of World Breastfeeding Week.

15 Years After Innocenti Declaration, Breastfeeding Saving Six Million Lives Annually
GENEVA/FLORENCE, 22 November 2005 – Six million lives a year are being saved by exclusive breastfeeding, and global breastfeeding rates have risen by at least 15 per cent since 1990, says a report released on the 15th anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration on the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding.

Desirable rate of exclusive breastfeeding, still a distant goal in most of the Arab world
AMMAN, 4 August 2005 – In spite of notable achievements by countries like Syria and Egypt having reached more than fifty percent of exclusive breastfeeding at their national levels, the Middle East and North Africa region has yet to engage in more resolute action to ensure that infants are breastfed between 0-6 months of age.

Poor feeding for children under two leads to nearly one-fifth of child deaths
NEW YORK, 1 August 2005 – Better infant feeding practices in the first two years of life could prevent almost one-fifth of all child deaths in the developing world, UNICEF said today at the start of World Breastfeeding Week.

UNICEF: Breastfeeding still best for infants and mothers
NEW YORK, 1 August 2002 - Marking the start of World Breastfeeding Week today, UNICEF encouraged more hospitals to join the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, noting that recent studies provide yet more evidence of the many benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers.

World missing opportunity to reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission through exclusive breastfeeding
GENEVA/NEW YORK, 8 November 2004 – The world has a major opportunity to reduce the toll of HIV/AIDS on infants by taking action now to scale up support for exclusive breastfeeding, UNICEF said today.

Global Strategy: Breastfeeding critical for child survival
New York, 23 March 2004 – Calling on governments to promote and protect early and exclusive breastfeeding, UNICEF and WHO today jointly launched the Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding. The document, developed over two years of global consultation, pinpoints the main problems affecting infant and young child feeding and identifies approaches to their solution.

FMOH and UNICEF join forces to promote safe breastfeeding
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, 6 August 2004 – Dr. Tesfanesh Belay, Head of the Department of Family Health for the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), and Bjorn Ljungqvist, UNICEF Representative, held a press conference today affirming the importance of breastfeeding to protect babies against such potential killers as diarrhoea.

UN agencies urge governments to scale up action to ensure appropriate infant feeding practices
NAIROBI, 25 September 25 2003 – With the achievement of broad consensus on the appropriate ways to feed infants and young children in the context of HIV/AIDS, four UN agencies today urged governments to immediately scale up action in five priority areas to save lives and ensure the growth, health, development and well-being of all children.

UNICEF: Breastfeeding can save over 1 million lives yearly
NEW YORK, 30 July 2004 – On the eve of World Breastfeeding Week UNICEF said that by expanding the number of women who exclusively breastfeed during their child’s first six months, at least 1.3 million infant lives could be saved this year.

Taking early childhood nutrition to heart
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 24 September 2004 – Healthy hearts begin in childhood, according to new studies linking good nutrition for children under the age of five to reduced risk of heart disease later in life.




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