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?

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Abstract

In 2015, more than one million migrants and refugees arrived in Europe. Commercial complementary foods, processed foods marketed for infants and young children 6-23 months of age, were distributed by various humanitarian actors along migrant routes and in European refugee camps. Unsolicited donations and distributions of commercial complementary food products were problematic and divergent from international policies on infant and young child feeding during humanitarian emergencies. Interim guidance regarding commercial complementary foods was published during the peak of the emergency but implemented differently by various humanitarian actors. Clearer and more technical specifications on commercial complementary foods are needed in order to objectively determine their suitability for operational contexts in Europe and emergency nutrition assistance in the future.

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