As executives of U.S.-based nonprofit organizations that work in child survival and development, we are writing to urge you to support and defend global child survival and maternal health
funding. This is essential funding that saves and improves children’s lives.
Reducing the federal debt is in our nation’s best interest. Yet proposed cuts to life-saving global health programs are excessive. We ask you to oppose cuts to critical child health programs.
U.S. federal funding for global health makes up less than one-half of one percent of the total federal budget. Yet for people in poor countries who benefit from U.S. health programs, funding cuts could mean children go without polio and measles vaccines; babies forego nutritious supplements that keep them alive in humanitarian disasters; mothers deliver their newborns without the assistance of skilled health workers; and children die from diarrhea, malaria
, and pneumonia because they lack access to low-cost treatment that could save their lives.
Our organizations receive private support from millions of Americans. They believe, as we do, that efforts by our organizations and the United States Government to save the lives of children and help families reflect America’s deepest values, and support America’s strongest interests. They understand that health is a foundation for peace, security, and development: where families lack basic health services, children suffer, breadwinners die, and communities unravel.
With support from the U.S. Agency for International Development,
in particular its Child Survival and Maternal Health account, and from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
, our organizations work with host country partners to make a huge difference for children around the world:
- The Rotary Foundation’s partnership with the U.S. Government, UNICEF, and other organizations has led the world to the brink of eliminating polio;
- The American Red Cross and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control led the international Measles Initiative, that cut measles deaths worldwide by 78 percent between 2000 and 2008;
- Kiwanis International’s campaign to eliminate iodine deficiency helped implement salt iodization programs in 89 countries with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which will protect 80 million children this year alone from mental retardation;
- World Vision combines private funding from more than one million donors with U.S. Government programs to implement child-focused humanitarian, health, and nutrition programs in nearly 100 countries around the world;
- Save the Children implements both privately and publicly funded programs in 120 countries to guarantee child survival, protection, and development.
We know that our joint investments in high-impact health and nutrition interventions save lives and transform entire communities. According to UNICEF, the world has seen child mortality rates drop by a third since 1990. That is an amazing accomplishment – but we are far from meeting our goals. Every year, more than 8 million children under five perish from preventable causes.
We believe it is imperative that the United States maintain its commitment to supporting humanitarian and development programs, and continue the progress that we are making in improving the health of mothers and children globally. We are committed to working with you to support global child survival and maternal health accounts, and to maintain the critical public-private partnership that saves lives every day.
Caryl M. Stern
United States Fund for
World Vision USA
Senior Vice President for
American Red Cross
Save the Children USA