• Request support for nutrition coordination, information management and nutrition in emergencies

  • التماس الدعم لتنسيق التغذية وإدارة المعلومات والتغذية في حالات الطوارئ

  • Buscar apoyo para la coordinación de la nutrición, la gestión de la información y la nutrición en situaciones de emergencia

  • Demander un appui pour la coordination de la nutrition, la gestion de l'information et la nutrition dans les situations d'urgence

  • Solicite apoio para coordenação em nutrição, gestão de informação e nutrição em emergências

Nutrition for infants and young children

During emergencies such as earthquakes, conflict or floods, children are especially vulnerable to malnutrition, illness and death. They are highly dependent on their caregivers, their immune systems are developing, and their bodies and brains depend on good nutrition for healthy growth and development. In emergencies, Infant and Young Child Feeding (IYCF) is a life-saving intervention. Infants should be breastfed within one hour of birth, breastfed exclusively for the first six months of life and continue to be breastfed up to two years of age and beyond. Starting at six months, breastfeeding should be combined with safe, age-appropriate feeding of solid, semi-solid and soft foods.

The IFE Core Group

Global Thematic Working Group

The Infant Feeding in Emergencies (IFE) Core Group is a global collaboration of agencies and individuals that formed in 1999 to address policy guidance and training resource gaps hampering programming on infant and young child feeding support in humanitarian contexts. The IFE Core Group works to develop guidance and resource materials; documents lessons learned and builds capacity to ensure more effective infant and young child feeding (IYCF) support in emergency contexts (IYCF-E). 

The IFE Core Group is coordinated by the Emergency Nutrition Network (ENN). Current members of the Group include ACF, ADRA, CDC, CGBI, CHEERing, Concern Worldwide, Eleanor Crook Foundation, ENN, Global Nutrition Cluster, Goal, IBFAN, IMC, IOCC, IRC, MSF, SafelyFed Canada, Samaritan’s Purse, Save the Children, UNHCR, UNICEF, USAID, USAID/OFDA, WFP, WHO, World Vision, and several independent individuals.


Latest IFE Core Group update

During the last quarter of 2021, the IFE Core Group held it's annual meeting which was held remotely and was attended by 37 members. The meeting aimed to regroup IFE Core Group members to discuss progress on activities, reflect on experiences during the year, and plan for the coming year. Several technical gaps were identified in this quarter. These include:

  • Guidance to support countries to assess their specific context to inform and improve complementary feeding in emergencies programming
  • 'Good practice' operational guidance to inform the development of national guidance on IYCF-E
  • A need for a standardised IYCF-E glossary of terms
  • Further integration between IYCF-E and MAMI work
  • A need for further advocacy tools  
  • Guidance to support countries to assess their specific context to inform and improve complementary feeding in emergencies programming

These gaps have been incorporated into the IFE Core Group workplan for 2022.

New resources include:

  • Joint Statement on Protecting Maternal &  Child Nutrition in the Ukraine Conflict and Refugee Crisis (multiple language available)
  • Infographics on IYCF, Infectious Disease and Preventing and Managing Inappropriate donations. These are available in multiple languages.

Two webinars were organized in this quarter: 'Learning & Sharing Cafe: Preventing and managing inappropriate donations of BMS' and 'WHO/UNICEF IYCF Indicators: Challenges and opportunities in humanitarian contexts'.


For more information on any of the activities highlights or if you would like to enquire about joining the IFE Core Group, please contact IFE Core Group Facilitator 

Key Resources

IYCF-E Additional Resources