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World Bank hails breastfeeding as a potential economic investment

Posted:  Tuesday, December 01, 2015

We are all too aware of the myriad benefits that breastfeeding confers on both mother and child. However, can this natural behaviour transform developing economies as well? The World Bank answers this query with a resounding yes! The Washington-based financial institution affirmed that breastfeeding if greatly used could completely change the economy and health of developing countries.

Keith Hansen, Global Practices Vice President, The World Bank, in a recent article, described the potential impact of investing resources to encourage breastfeeding and curtail undernutrition, especially during the first two crucial years of a child’s life. The article published in the journal Breastfeeding Medicine is based on his presentation at the Seventh Annual Summit on Breastfeeding held in June 2015.

To further the cause of child nutrition, the World Bank recently launched a UK-based charity and fund by the name ‘Power of Nutrition’ in collaboration with other global foundations and organisations. The charity is aiming for up to $1 billion of new private and public financing over the span of the next 5 years to better child nutrition.

Commending the World Bank’s stance on breastfeeding, Arthur I. Eidelman, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Breastfeeding Medicine said, “It clearly takes the perspective of individuals and organisations of the stature of Keith Hansen and the World Bank to so eloquently detail that the support and expansion of breastfeeding programmes not only save lives, but are the most cost efficient investment in human capital with the greatest return for world economic prosperity”.

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