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.
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.
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