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IYCF project UNHCR - Call for expression of Interest

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Valerie Belchior-Bellino

Senior Nutritionist

Normal user

8 Dec 2020, 08:07

UNHCR has released a call for Expression of Interest for partners on the following topic: Supporting the rollout of the multi-sectoral “IYCF friendly” framework for action for refugee situations and enhancing IYCF and IYCF-E capacity in refugee operations and refugee hosting communities.

Project Background:

A key component of UNHCR’s approach to reducing malnutrition and promoting healthy growth and survival of children is to improve the preventative aspects of undernutrition in refugee settings worldwide. In collaboration with several sectors and other partners UNHCR aims to strengthen infant and young child feeding practices (IYCF) and infant and young child feeding practices in Emergencies (IYCF-E). In line with the Global Compact on refugees including that refugees should be included in the communities from the very beginning, any work on IYCF and IYCF-E should take inclusion into account with refugee populations and surrounding host populations. Over the past several years, UNHCR has developed a multi-sectoral Infant and young child feeding Framework (https://www.unhcr.
org/publications/operations/5c0643d74/infant-young-child-feeding-refugee-situations-multi-sectoral-framework.html) and associated tools. The purpose of the Framework is to provide guidance to managers and technical staff across sectors on what needs to be considered to create an ‘infant and young child friendly’ environment and facilitate
optimal IYCF in refugee situations. The Framework specifically encourages protection of pregnant and lactating women (PLW), infants and young children through multi-sectoral integration of IYCF-sensitive activities by taking advantage of all contact points with PLW, infants, young children and caregivers. Data collected through UNHCR’s standardized expanded nutrition surveys (SENS) highlight many areas for improvement in the domain of IYCF in a range of refugee situations. The SENS surveys have been revised in 2019 and the IYCF module has been expanded, yet simplified, with the aim of generating additional and more robust data on IYCF. Compared to the baseline 2014 data, the IYCF results in SENS surveys conducted in refugee sites worldwide in 2018 show a significant improvement in timely initiation of breastfeeding from 25% of sites meeting the target of ³85% to 53% of sites, exclusive breastfeeding targets at ³75% of infants 0-5 months also showed improvement from 40% of sites in 2014 to 56% in 2018. continued breastfeeding at 1 year with a target of ³90% showed a slight deterioration from 58% of sites to 49% in 2018. Drawing on the experiences of the past several years with the roll out of the IYCF-Framework, which have shown many positive outcomes over and above the data presented above, UNHCR is seeking a partner with whom to collaborate on taking the implementation and mainstreaming of the IYCF Framework a step further and to continue to build the capacity of field teams and partners including ministry of health personnel on IYCF and IYCF-E programming in a range of contexts. It is in this context that UNHCR are releasing this call for expression of interest to assist in the implementation and mainstreaming of the IYCF Framework in UNHCR refugee operations and refugee hosting communities.

Expected Results:

The Goal is to protect infants and young children in refugee situations and enhance their chances of survival, healthy growth and development.

The aim is to sensitize and optimize conditions for infant and young child feeding-related programming across sectors in refugee situations and refugee hosting communities.

The overall objective for the “IYCF friendly” partnership project is to support UNHCR and partners in implementing and mainstreaming the IYCF Framework and increasing capacity of field teams to integrate IYCF prioritization in planning and implementation of their activities.

Main Activities:

The project foresees supportive field missions in up to 5 UNHCR country operations (3 new countries and 2 for follow-up). 

Main activities in 2021 Support for field activities:

a) Assisting in the roll-out of the framework in 3 new countries where UNHCR has nutrition operations; potentially located in West and Central Africa such as Burkina Faso, Niger, DR Congo, Zambia or Chad (2) and in East Africa such as Tanzania, Sudan or South-Sudan (1)*;

b) Assisting in creating and conducting an IYCF E-training / a series of webinars to disseminate further the IYCF framework, to train new staff and to support implementation of the framework in new UNHCR camps and out-of-camps situations;

Support for the creation of a Knowledge Hub: c) Assisting in creating a Knowledge Hub to share further the expertise developed; d) Assisting in developing a communication strategy to disseminate information about the Hub.

Interested partners are invited to apply by the 31st December 2019 on the UN partner portal. The call itself and more details can be found here:

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