UNICEF USA Applauds Passage of Global Nutrition Resolution

March 16, 2020

Congress prioritizes accelerating global progress against malnutrition

UNICEF USA applauds the House of Representatives' passage of H.Res. 189, a resolution recognizing the importance of sustained United States leadership to accelerating global progress against maternal and child malnutrition. With a companion resolution (S.Res. 260) having unanimously passed in the Senate earlier this year, the U.S. Congress has definitively signaled support for the United States Agency for International Development's multi-sectoral nutrition strategy. 

This legislative accomplishment would not have been possible without our passionate advocates who sent thousands of letters to their Members of Congress. In these busy times, the collective voice of UNICEF USA supporters helped keep child nutrition top of mind for lawmakers and build support for the resolution. 

Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival and child development. Well-nourished children are better able to grow and learn, to participate in their communities, and to be resilient in the face of disease or disaster. 

A boy is weighed, as his mother looks on, during a checkup at a community outreach medical clinic in a village near Mecufi, northern Mozambique. The Mozambican Ministry of Health, with support from UNICEF, sends mobile brigades into remote communities to offer integrated health and nutrition services in areas that do not otherwise have sufficient services. © UNICEF/UNI212576/Hu

The first 1,000 days from the start of a woman’s pregnancy to a child’s second birthday offer a window of opportunity for preventing undernutrition and its consequences. UNICEF seizes on this period to provide support for breastfeeding, nutrition-rich foods for infants, and micronutrient supplements for mothers, among other basic lifesaving interventions.

UNICEF USA recognizes the leadership of Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) as well as Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) and Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE) for introducing this measure in 2019. Collectively, across the House and the Senate, more than 200 Members of Congress cospsonored the resolution. In a time where malnutrition still contributes to 45% of all deaths of children under the age 5, the U.S. Government's global commitment towards this combatting malnutrition is needed to ensure every child lives a healthy and productive life. 

 

Ayesha Siddqa (18) practices breastfeeding her child in the women's ward at Cox's Bazar Medical Hospital on October 19, 2017. As part of its ongoing programs, UNICEF and its partners are working to teach mothers around the world how to properly feed their babies. This is part of a global initiative to promote breastfeeding, to support mothers and give children the best possible start in life. © UNICEF/UNI239047/Mawa

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Top photo: A mother gives milk to her baby in the Kisham hospital of the Kishim district, Badakhshan province in the Northeast of Afghanistan. Afghanistan has amongst the highest rates of stunting, a sign of chronic undernutrition, in the world. This prevents children from reaching their potential or performing well in school, and renders them more likely to contract diseases. © UNICEF/UNI241071/Karimi