Encyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Lauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras

Emergency Management: Infant and Young Children Feeding in Emergencies

  • Sarah E. DeYoungEmail author
Living reference work entry

Latest version View entry history

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69891-5_109-2


The field of infant and young child feeding in emergencies (IYCF-E) is a set of practices, policies, and guidelines related to ensuring safe feeding of infants and young children during disasters and major hazard events.


During large-scale evacuation and sheltering scenarios, families with infants need support for safe infant feeding. In the post-disaster setting, breastfed, bottle-fed, and mixed-fed infants require special care and support. Breastfed infants have a higher likelihood of survival in emergency scenarios (Jakobsen et al. 2003; WHO and UNICEF 2003; WHO 2015). Another benefit of breastfeeding is that infants are less likely to suffer from respiratory illness and other infections (WHO and UNICEF 2003). Breastfeeding improves health outcomes for women and infants (Rollins et al. 2016), and breastfeeding promotion provides resilience and protection for vulnerable groups in disasters (Gribble 2018). Distribution of commercial complementary foods (CCF)...


Infant feeding Evacuation Maternal and child health 
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Callaghan, W. M., Rasmussen, S. A., Jamieson, D. J., Ventura, S. J., Farr, S. L., Sutton, P. D., & Posner, S. F. (2007). Health concerns of women and infants in times of natural disasters: Lessons learned from hurricane Katrina. Maternal and Child Health Journal, 11(4), 307–311.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. DeYoung, S., Suji, M., & Southall, H. G. (2018). Maternal perceptions of infant feeding and health in the context of the 2015 Nepal earthquake. Journal of Human Lactation, 34(2), 242–252.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0890334417750144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Gribble, K. D. (2013). Media messages and the needs of infants and young children after cyclone Nargis and the WenChuan earthquake. Disasters, 37(1), 80–100.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-7717.2012.01289.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Gribble, K. (2014). Formula feeding in emergencies. In Handbook of dietary and nutritional aspects of bottle feeding (pp. 587–590). Wageningen: Academic Publishers.Google Scholar
  5. Gribble, K. (2018). Supporting the most vulnerable through appropriate infant and young child feeding in emergencies. Journal of Human Lactation, 34(1), 40–46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gribble, K. D., & Berry, N. J. (2011). Emergency preparedness for those who care for infants in developed country contexts. International Breastfeeding Journal, 6(1), 16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jakobsen, M., Sodemann, M., Nylén, G., Balé, C., Nielsen, J., Lisse, I., & Aaby, P. (2003). Breastfeeding status as a predictor of mortality among refugee children in an emergency situation in Guinea-Bissau. Tropical Medicine & International Health, 8(11), 992–996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Murphy, J. W. (2014). Community-based interventions: philosophy and action. New York: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Prudhon, C., Benelli, P., Maclaine, A., Harrigan, P., & Frize, J. (2018). Informing infant and young child feeding programming in humanitarian emergencies: An evidence map of reviews including low and middle income countries. Maternal & Child Nutrition, 14(1), e12457.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Rollins, N. C., Bhandari, N., Hajeebhoy, N., Horton, S., Lutter, C. K., Martines, J. C., & Victora, C. G. (2016). Why invest, and what it will take to improve breastfeeding practices? The Lancet, 387(10017), 491–504.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Sun, J., Huo, J. S., Zhao, L. Y., Fu, P., Wang, J., Huang, J., & Yin, S. (2013). The nutritional status of young children and feeding practices two years after the Wenchuan earthquake in the worst-affected areas in China. Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 22(1), 100–108.Google Scholar
  12. Theurich, M. A., & Grote, V. (2017). Are commercial complementary food distributions to refugees and migrants in Europe conforming to international policies and guidelines on infant and young child feeding in emergencies? Journal of Human Lactation, 33(3), 573–577.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. World Health Organization. (2015). World health statistics 2015. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  14. World Health Organization, & UNICEF. (2003). Global strategy for infant and young child feeding. Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar

Further Reading

  1. Angood, C. (2017). Operational guidance on infant feeding in emergencies (OG-IFE) version 3.0. www.ennonline.net/operationalguidance-v3-2017.

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GeorgiaAthensUSA