United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is a United Nations Program headquartered in New York City that provides long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. It is one of the members of the United Nations Development Group and its Executive Committee.

In all of its work, UNICEF takes a life-cycle based approach, recognising the particular importance of early childhood development and adolescence. UNICEF programmes focus on the most disadvantaged children, including those living in fragile contexts, those with disabilities, those who are affected by rapid urbanisation and those affected by environmental degradation.

UNICEF was created with a distinct purpose in mind: to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. They advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.

UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programmes and National Committees.

Read more about UNICEF.

Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative: for the Best Start in Life

UNICEF and WHO, along with a range of other partners, have formed a global advocacy initiative to increase political commitment to and investment for breastfeeding as the cornerstone of child nutrition, health and development.

The mission of the advocacy initiative is to galvanise political, financial and social support to scale up breastfeeding programmes and to encourage adoption of supportive legal instruments and policies at the global, regional and country levels within the broader development, humanitarian and human rights agendas, thus accelerating progress to meet or exceed the WHA global target calling for an increase in the rate of exclusive breastfeeding to at least 50% by 2025.

The Breastfeeding Advocacy Initiative has three strategic goals, to:

  1. foster leadership and alliances and effectively integrate and communicate breastfeeding messages
  2. mobilise resources and promote accountability
  3. build knowledge and evidence to enhance breastfeeding policies, programmes, financing and communication

Download the full document here.

Related links

Global Nutrition Targets 2025: Breastfeeding policy brief

Comprehensive implementation plan on maternal, infant and young child nutrition