The Global Breastfeeding Collective
(the Collective) brings together implementers and donors from governments, philanthropies, international organizations, and civil society and is led by UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Collective envisions a world in which all mothers have the technical, financial, emotional, and public support they need to start breastfeeding within an hour of a child’s birth, to breastfeed exclusively for six months, and to continue breastfeeding, with complementary foods, for two years or beyond. The Collective’s mission is to rally political, legal, financial, and public support so rates of breastfeeding increase, which will benefit mothers, children, and society.
Breastfeeding and sustainable development go hand-in-hand. By increasing breastfeeding, we can save 820,000 lives annually, improve the health and well-being of women and children, and build a healthier, more prosperous future. These actions will help achieve the central goals of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda
Our goal is to increase the global rate of exclusive breastfeeding to 50% or higher by 2025 and to at least 70% by 2030.
Breastfeeding is a powerful solution for improving global health and welfare, but we need smart financial commitments to implement it. The Global Breastfeeding Collective is calling for $5.7 billion over ten years – an average of $570 million per year – to support breastfeeding in low- and middle-income countries. These funds would be enough to achieve the global exclusive breastfeeding target (> 50%) and would translate into a cost of only $4.70 per newborn.
From preventing childhood illnesses and increasing IQ to decreasing mothers’ risk for breast cancer and lowering healthcare costs for families and societies, the benefits of breastfeeding touch everyone. However, the responsibility for breastfeeding is often put solely on the shoulders of mothers – without considering the immense social, political, and environmental barriers to breastfeeding that exist in nearly every country in the world.
Improved breastfeeding is not just important for individual children and their families: it is also a tool for building more prosperous societies and nations. Every $1 invested has the power to generate $35
in economic returns. These increased investments in breastfeeding could yield an estimated $298 billion in economic gains over 10 years across all low- and middle-income countries.
No mother should breastfeed alone: support for breastfeeding is a collective responsibility. This means getting mothers and babies everywhere the support they need to breastfeed whenever and wherever they choose.
The Collective’s "Call to Action
" lists seven key policy actions to increase political commitment to breastfeeding and improve rates of early initiation, exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life and continued breastfeeding for up to two years or beyond, together with appropriate, adequate and safe complementary foods globally.
The Breastfeeding Advocacy Toolkit is intended to help you access and use the tools and resources needed for effective advocacy at the global, national, and sub-national levels.
The Collective’s Partners:
Baby-friendly Hospital Network