The Initiative

The Stronger with Breastmilk Only regional initiative promotes giving babies in West and Central Africa breastmilk only, on demand, for the first six months of life. It focuses on stopping the practice of giving water, other liquids and foods to babies under six months - the most common obstacle to exclusive breastfeeding in the region.

The initiative aims for the West and Central Africa region to achieve the global exclusive breastfeeding target of at least 50 per cent by 2025.

Stronger with Breastmilk Only echoes the Global Breastfeeding Collective’s calls for increasing financing and better implementation of policies, programs and interventions to provide mothers the support they need to breastfeed exclusively for the first 6 months of life and then continue while giving first foods until 24 months.

Breastfeeding is a vital part of giving every child the strongest start to life. It is the baby’s first vaccine; his/her best source of nutrition and it paves the way for healthy development of his/her brain. Breastfeeding provides exceptional moments during which a mother develops a special bond with her child and so much more.

Find your Stronger with Breastmilk Only resources here.

Since the regional launch, 10 countries have launched national Stronger With Breastmilk Only initiatives. Read the latest on their activities here.

Nigeria mother

Key facts


4 of every 10

newborns are breastfed one hour after birth in West and Central Africa.

3 out of 10

under six months are exclusively breastfed in West and Central Africa.

Every $1

invested in breastfeeding generates $35 in economic returns.

2.57 %

of GNI, represents the economic losses in Sub-Saharan Africa.
cancer 104

823 000

child deaths and 20 000 breast cancer deaths can be prevented by breastfeeding every year.


is an investment that improves children’s health, and develops human capital, which can benefit a country’s economy.

Where we are and what we have achieved

Our partners