The Executive Board of the World Health Organization, at its 101st session in January 1998, called for a revitalization of the global commitment to appropriate infant and young child nutrition, and in particular breastfeeding and complementary feeding. Subsequently, in close collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund, WHO organized a consultation (Geneva, 13–17 March 2000) to assess infant and young child feeding practices, review key interventions, and formulate a comprehensive strategy for the next decade.
Consistent with an approach in which countries participated, from the outset, in tailoring the strategy to their specific needs, during the period 2000–2001 the draft strategy was considered at country consultations in Brazil, China, Philippines, Scotland, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Zimbabwe. Six regional consultations followed with representatives of more than 100 Member States and the participation of UNICEF, FAO, ILO, the International Lactation Consultant Association, the International Baby Food Action Network, and the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action. On the basis of the inputs provided and the principles that evolved through this process, this policy framework emerged.