The World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) was established in 1992 to celebrate the importance of breastfeeding and is coordinated annually by the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA). WBW is officially celebrated from the 1 -7 August every year to mark the anniversary of the Innocenti Declaration, although some countries choose to celebrate it at different times of the year. The main idea behind WBW was to offer an opportunity for people worldwide to join together in celebration and action. WBW also enables us to evaluate our progress towards the protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding.
Previous WBW themes were centred on current global issues. However, since 2016, we have aligned our WBW campaign with the larger United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We call this the WBW-SDGs Campaign. Alignment with the SDGs will bring more people and organisations onboard and enable breastfeeding to be linked to all the major development agendae. In 2016, we began our 15-year journey to achieve sustainable development through breastfeeding by 2030. We clustered the UN SDGs into 4 Thematic Areas that relate to each other and to breastfeeding respectively. The 4 Thematic Areas will be celebrated in cycles until 2029. 2030 will be about taking stock of our progress, overcoming challenges and planning for work beyond the SDGs.
This year’s WBW theme is on Nutrition, Food Security and Poverty Reduction. With the slogan, Breastfeeding: Foundation of Life, #WBW2018 goals are to prevent malnutrition in all its forms, ensure food security even in times of crises and break the cycle of poverty. As part of this initiative, WABA is providing seed grants to organisations to plan activities that will inform, anchor, engage and galvanise on breastfeeding as the foundation for life.
WBW celebrants are encouraged to submit the Pledge Form to showcase their events which will be displayed on our Pledge Map. Projects that fulfil the criteria for selection will be shortlisted for seed grants. We are looking especially for projects that are innovative, impactful, involve a range of stakeholders and can be replicated elsewhere.