World Breastfeeding Week 2016 (#WBW2016) celebrates links between breastfeeding and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs are a blueprint for global commitment and action towards equitable development. This year, the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) takes up the challenge to frame infant and young child feeding strategies within sustainable development.         
World Breastfeeding Week (WBW) has been celebrated since 1992 and is the biggest social mobilisation platform for breastfeeding. Participation has grown steadily and WBW is now celebrated in over 170 countries by more than 1.5 million individuals, with a reach of up to 30 million through mainstream and social media.
The SDGs are 17 goals to transform our world by the year 2030. #WBW2016 aims to first raise awareness of its links to breastfeeding and second, to foster partnerships for long-term development.
Dr. Amal Omer-Salim, WABA’s Co-Executive Director said, “Celebrations should mark on-going efforts to learn from achievements and overcome challenges. The annual WBW celebration should be more than a week-long effort. By focusing on a broader context, longer time frame and practical yet ambitious goals, we can create sustainable and engaging campaigns. Let us campaign for a generation!”
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By aligning breastfeeding with the Sustainable Development Goals, we have an opportunity to work within a framework of practical targets, indicators and timescale that allow for the global effort to increase breastfeeding rates.

#WBW2016 will be an introduction to the SDGs. It will also serve as a ‘foundation year’ for partners and allies to raise awareness of these goals and its impact. This year, WABA has linked breastfeeding to all 17 SDGs. This facilitates flexibility of application and recognises the interconnectedness of the Goals.

Between #WBW2016 and WBW 2017, WABA will develop ideas for impactful activities at community level by supporting the best ideas and creating a partnership marketplace to foster the incubation of ideas or sharing of experiences. These activities focus on attracting political support, media attention, the participation of young people and to widen the pool of activism.

Through #WBW2016, WABA sets out raise awareness of the links between breastfeeding and the SDGs, whereas WBW 2017 will focus on Goal 17 - partnership building. This method of working is essential for sustainable impact and to initiate collaboration with celebrants.
Beyond 2017, WBW efforts will focus on four themes of clustered Goals (described in the WABA WBW Action Folder), repeated three times over the years that follow. The themes are:

This cyclical pattern of themes would enable all those working on related issues to raise awareness, incentivise action, aggregate data and track progress towards meeting our goals. Actors at all levels could focus on aspects of the clustered Goals that are most relevant to their work and target groups, with opportunities for new partnerships and collaboration. The WBW in 2030 would take stock of progress made on achieving the SDGs, and address challenges faced at that time.