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United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)
29 August 2007
UNICEF participates in the launching of the occupied Palestinian territory National
strategy on Infant and Young Child feeding practices
Ramallah, 29 August 2007. Dr. Fathi Abu Moghli, Minister of Health, Dr. Zahira Habash, Coordinator of the National Committee on Breast Feeding, Dr. Umeiyyeh Khammash, Director of Health Services, UNWRA and Dr. Samson Agbo, Chief, Health, representing UNICEF - occupied Palestinian territory launched the national strategy on infant and young child feeding practices.
Presentations were made by UNICEF as well as various non-governmental organization and individual experts. Dr. Najwa Rizkallah, Nutrition Officer, UNICEF–oPt discussed the role of international and UN agencies towards strengthening this strategy. Others discussed the importance of breast feeding during the first two years of child’s life.
In occupied Palestinian territory, 10% of children under 5 years of age suffer from stunting (a height for age measure) and 2.9% are underweight. The PCBS, 2006 showed that only 26.5% of mothers exclusively breastfeed their infants, aged 0 – 5 months.
As a result, the national strategy on infant and young child feeding aims at putting effective continuum of care systems in place for all children; and will also ensure that all children are offered a better start in life. The national launch and workshop called for more attention and allocation of resources required to ensure improved infant and young child feeding practices.
The strategy evolved through consultations with the UN related agencies, various organizations within Governmental institutions, NGOs and private sector coordinated by the National Breast Feeding Committee.