Joint Statement on Maternal & Child Nutrition at the WHO Executive Board Meeting

The 142nd session of the World Health Organization’s Executive Board takes place this week (22-27 January 2018) in Geneva, Switzerland. The Executive Board provides direction and input on World Health Organization priorities related to a broad range of health concerns.

At this week’s meeting, a biennial report on the Comprehensive Implementation Plan on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition will be presented by the World Health Organization Director General. This report will touch on progress made toward the Global Targets to improve maternal infant and young child nutrition, as well as national implementation of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and relevant World Health Assembly Resolutions. (Click here to view our webinar series reviewing these global policies which protect families against inappropriate promotion of foods for infants and young children.)

Helen Keller International joined a group of nutrition-focused civil society organizations led by World Cancer Research Fund International in issuing a statement to the Executive Board. The statement acknowledges the progress made on improving the health of mothers and children around the world, and calls for continued effort to improve policies, better integrate services, coordinate across sectors and increase financial resources for nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive interventions. The statement also calls for more Member States to adopt legal measures to strengthen implementation and monitoring of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent relevant WHA resolutions. Read the full statement below:

This statement will also be read on the floor of the Executive Board meeting in Geneva this week.

UPDATE January 24th, 2018: This statement resulted in several amendments to the WHO draft global program of work. Breastfeeding and nutrition are now referenced several times throughout the document, securing their place in the global health agenda. The latest draft of the program (with amendments indicated in bold) can be found here.