IYCF-E Deployment: 10 April-7 May 2017

Reason for request:

A mix of drought, soaring food prices, conflict, access constraints and under-funding has led to a serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Somalia in 2016. In the past few years, the typical country-wide median prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) in Somalia has been significantly higher than the WHO emergency threshold of 15%. Current nutrition analysis reveals a sustained critical nutrition situation and that acute malnutrition continues to be a significant public health problem with looming famine around the corner.

Humanitarian actors in the nutrition cluster are concerned about the use of Breastmilk substitutes. Moreover, many non-traditional actors including business members, well-wisher, government authorities who are overwhelmingly providing humanitarian support to the people affected by the drought. These actors do not have experience in IYCF hence are providing breast milk substitute (powdered milk) which will hinder the IYCF practices.

A Tech RRT advisor was deployed to:

  • Develop an IYCF-E response / action plan
  • Capacity building on IYCF-E Practices
  • Provide guidance on BMS monitoring and management of BMS donations
  • Provide guidance on the establishment of breastfeeding safe places achieved and any other required IYCF-E activities.
  • Strengthened linkages between health, nutrition and WASH sectors focusing on IYCF-E.


  • Response planning workshop where multiple partners worked together to develop Indicators, an action plan and timeline for IYCF Activities
  • Creation of Breastmilk Substitute management guidelines with a clear reporting system
  • Development of a technical specification sheet for Mother Baby Areas (MBA’s)
  • Training on IYCF-E practices, including BMS management and how to set up and run MBA’s for members of multiple sectors (WASH, Health, Nutrition, MOH, etc)
  • Advocacy to include IYCF-E indicators in existing and future programs