We send you our best wishes for the New Year!
2016 was an exciting year for WABA. We celebrated our Silver Anniversary, marking 25 years of working to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. The occasion also gave us a chance to reflect that despite growing evidence, increased advocacy and policy improvements, many challenges remain.
Globally, only 38% of infants are exclusively breastfed from birth to six months. The global nutrition threshold target is for at least 50% of infants to be breastfed by 2025. This requires a rich mix of efforts at many levels on not just breastfeeding, but also gender equality, labour rights, nutrition and health, the environment and economic development. Sustainable development cannot be achieved if we don’t work together.
Last year, WABA too began the 15-year journey to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – a blueprint for global commitment towards equitable development. World Breastfeeding Week 2016 (#WBW2016) aimed to show and share the links between breastfeeding and each of the SDGs.
World Breastfeeding Week’s 25th year in 2017 is about working together for the common good.
#WBW2017 will call on advocates and activists, decision makers and celebrants to forge new and purposeful partnerships at whatever level they operate in. Together we must attract political support, media attention, the participation of young people and widen our pool of celebrants and supporters.
We started this effort in 2016 by organising the WABA Global Partners Forum in Penang, Malaysia. The Forum celebrated some of our key achievements, shared what we have learnt, but most importantly, brought together many friends old and new, who work to protect, promote and support breastfeeding. To make progress, we need partnerships across divides, that range from the local to the global. Let us, this year, forge those enduring pathways.
”Let us work together to identify what works and overcome common challenges. By linking World Breastfeeding Week to the SDGs, we can all work on ambitious goals that have a practical effect at all levels. We can only achieve this through sustainable partnerships. Let us come together to campaign for a generation!”
Dr. Amal Omer-Salim, WABA’s Co-Executive Director