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Bipartisan Legislation Increases Investment in Maternal and Child Health, Level funds Nutrition
WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 29, 2016) – Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) today applauded the funding levels for maternal and child health and nutrition accounts provided by the Senate Appropriations Committee in its fiscal year 2017 State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs appropriations bill. The committee approved the bill this afternoon by a 30-0 vote.
The bill increases funding for the Maternal and Child Health account by $64.5 million from fiscal year 2016 levels to a total of $814.5 million. Funding for the Nutrition account remains equal to the fiscal year 2016 enacted level, $125 million, which is $16.5 million above the President’s budget request.
“We are grateful to the members of this committee for their continued and increased investments in maternal and child programs around the world,” said Mark Shriver, president of SCAN. “While we have made great progress, every year, 5.9 million children under age 5 and 300,000 women die from mostly preventable and treatable causes like pneumonia, malnutrition and complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Continued support from the U.S. is vital in order to meet the shared goal of ending preventable maternal and child deaths by 2030.”
Since 1990, deaths of mothers and children under age 5 worldwide have been nearly cut in half. This is one of the great success stories in international development over the last 25 years. Progress has largely been achieved with simple solutions and proven, inexpensive interventions that address leading causes of death.
“Low-cost programs and interventions – like encouraging breastfeeding, training health workers so mothers don’t manage their pregnancy and labor alone and providing vitamin A to treat malnutrition – can have a huge impact,” Shriver said. “With the incredible progress that’s been made, it’s clear that now is the time to accelerate improvement and not the time to take the foot off the gas pedal in ending preventable maternal and child deaths. We look forward to continuing work with Congress to bolster U.S. leadership in addressing malnutrition around the world.”
Highlights from the legislation include:
- Global Health Program – A total of $8.67 billion for Global Health Programs, $161.6 million above the FY2016 enacted level and $88.5 million above the President’s request.
- Maternal and Child Health – $814.5 million for maternal and child health programs, which is equal to the President’s request, and includes $275 million for the GAVI Alliance.
- Nutrition – The bill provides $125 million for nutrition programs, which is equal to the FY16 enacted level and $16.5 million above the President’s request.
Save the Children’s new global campaign, Every Last Child, is aimed at tackling one of the greatest challenges our generation faces: reducing deaths among excluded children who are the hardest to reach.
Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive.