Holiday cheer for children from Congress

December 22, 2011

© Architect of the Capitol | The 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree

In the midst of the controversy and sparring on Capitol Hill as Congress hurried to finish its work for the year, the House and Senate provided holiday cheer for UNICEF and for vulnerable children around the world. Included in the massive appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2012 sent to the President was $131.8 million for the U.S. Government’s contribution to UNICEF.  Although the overall measure cut core foreign assistance programs by about $6 billion from the Fiscal Year 2011 levels, UNICEF was preserved. This regular resource or core funding is what enables UNICEF to be a good partner of the United States to help children in need.  UNICEF extends the reach of the U.S. Government in its effort to promote child survival, maternal health, clean water and sanitation, basic education, and a variety of measures to protect children from exploitation and abuse. In a time of difficult budget choices, it is essential for the decision-makers in Congress to hear from their constituents.  Those of us who Believe in Zero – that no child should die from a death we can prevent – must continue to urge our legislators to make saving children a priority of U.S. foreign policy. Thanks to all of you who were champions for children this year with your Senators and Representatives!  Your efforts helped to maintain UNICEF’s funding.  Please join with us again as we fight for the U.S. contribution to UNICEF for Fiscal Year 2013.  With your help, even more children can be reached and saved!