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Current Global Nutrition Legislation
House Resolution 254 (H. Res. 254)
H. Res. 254 is a bipartisan resolution that seeks to recognize the importance of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement and the 1,000 Days partnership. Additionally, it calls on the U.S. government and relevant federal agencies to develop a nutrition strategy to further ongoing coordination efforts across various U.S. government global nutrition programs.
Currently, H. Res. 254 has 53 cosponsors, but in order for the bill to seriously be considered on the House floor, it must garner additional congressional cosponsors, especially among Republican members. Passage of this resolution will help bolster our request for nutrition funding through the annual appropriations process, as well as set an important precedent with other Scaling Up Nutrition participating countries. In the Senate, we are in conversation with Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) regarding the potential introduction of related nutrition legislation.
Food-Aid Reform and Bread for the World’s Offering of Letters
Bread for the World’s 2014 Offering of Letters campaign focuses on reforming the U.S. government’s food-aid programs, which include a global nutrition component. The campaign calls on churches and churchgoers to send brief, focused, hand-written letters to members of Congress, urging them to support food-aid reform, including efforts that enhance the nutritional quality of food aid and better target it to vulnerable populations, such as women and children in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday.
Efforts to continue food-aid reform include implementation of provisions in the recently passed farm bill that touch on food aid, food-aid reform as part of the fiscal year (FY) 2015 federal budget and appropriations process, as well as looking at possible stand-alone food-aid reform legislation and language in the transportation reauthorization legislation around cargo preference. The Global Food Security Act, H. R. 2822, was introduced in the House, and while it provides some focus on global nutrition, a Senate companion bill currently being drafted by Sen. Robert Casey (D-Pa.) may provide a better opportunity.
Budget and Appropriations
FY 2014: In the FY14 omnibus spending bill, $115 million for nutrition was provided, an increase of close to $20 million from FY13 levels.
FY 2015: Working with our partner organizations, we will request Congress appropriate $200 million in nutrition funding for FY2015, an increase of $85 million from the previous year. Additionally, we will seek to include the following nutrition-related language in any final enacted bill:
Failure to obtain optimum nutrition, especially during the 1,000 days from pregnancy to a child’s 2nd birthday, negatively impacts the lives of children, preventing them, their communities and countries from achieving their full economic potential. The Committee supports the allocation of targeted resources for nutrition interventions within food security and agriculture development, global health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and humanitarian assistance.
The Committee also notes the process underway to develop a government-wide, cross-sectoral global nutrition strategy aimed at reducing malnutrition and stunting rates and recommends that the final strategy include a description of focus countries, specific nutrition intervention targets, and a plan for evaluating nutrition outcomes for nutrition-specific and nutrition-sensitive spending in consultation with the Committee.
In preparation for the rollout of the nutrition strategy of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), we intend to collaborate with USAID and our partners to organize a nutrition strategy launch on Capitol Hill with congressional champions. After the strategy is released, we will consult with congressional members on how they can support its full implementation through the budget and appropriations process as well as related legislation. Lastly, in noting Congress’ interest in foreign-aid effectiveness and the impressive results nutrition investments yield, we will work to build congressional support for a whole-of-government strategy, as well as encourage congressional input in its drafting.
In the House of Representatives, we are seeking to garner the support of Republican members on the House Foreign Affairs and Appropriations Committees who have shown or expressed interest in international humanitarian and development issues including, but not limited to, global nutrition:
Cotton (R-Ark.-4), Rohrabacher (R-Calif.-46), Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.-18), Yoho (R-Fla.-3), Collins (R-Ga.-9), Kinzinger (R-Ill.-1), Holding (R-N.C.-13), Chabot (R-Ohio-1), Perry (R-Pa.-4), Weber Sr. (R-Texas-14), Poe (R-Texas-2), Stockman (R-Texas-36), Aderholt (R-Ala.-4), Calvert (R-Calif.-44), Crenshaw (R-Fla.-4), Kingston (R-Ga.-1), Simpson (R-Idaho-2), Cole (R-Okla.-4), Dent (R-Pa.-15), Culberson (R-Texas-7), Frank Wolf (R-Va.-10).
In the Senate, we will work to continue to build relationships specifically with the following Senators:
Collins (R- Maine), Cardin (D-Md.), Boozman (R-Ark.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.).