Breastfeeding and childhood nutrition awareness in Colombia

During the month of August special importance is given to increase knowledge about the benefits of breastfeeding. In Colombia this month has also been deemed the month for childhood nutrition.

WFP has teamed up with the national government, Fundación Éxito, and the Milk League to raise awareness about the importance of child nutrition during the first 1,000 days –including breastfeeding—and the next steps Colombia should take to eradicate chronic malnutrition.

In parts of rural Colombia access to nutritious food can be scarce. Lack of readily available healthy foods is affecting the health and nutrition of many Colombian families. This is particularly worrisome for pregnant mothers as hunger starts in the womb. Malnutrition in the first 1,000 days can lead to irreversible damage to minds and bodies. 

"The first 1,000 days, including the nine months of pregnancy and the first 2 years of life, are key to achieving SDG 2. But to achieve SDG 2, we must strengthen families, communities, and livelihoods, especially in rural and ethnic communities." -Deborah Hines, WFP Representative in Colombia.
WFP’s alliance with the government, Fundación Éxito, and the Milk League makes an urgent call to increase the number of breastfeeding mothers in Colombia as a strategy to improve health, growth and development of children and as a way to help reduce child mortality associated with malnutrition. "During this time, the structures and nerve pathways of the brain are formed and they further improve according to their functions. This process is favored by an adequate nutrition, mainly based on breastfeeding.” affirmed Germán Jaramillo, Director of the Fundación Éxito.

Currently many Colombian mothers stop breastfeeding after 1.8 months whereas WHO recommends breastfeeding for at least six months and up to two years as complementary feeding. In some places in Colombia mothers stop breastfeeding before the first month.

WFP makes it a priority to nourish children through the whole life cycle, investing in the next generation for a world with zero hunger.