House Resolution Highlights the Importance of United States Leadership to Scaling Up Nutrition
Washington, DC, June 17, 2013
This statement is delivered on behalf of the following organizations: Bread for the World, ChildFund International, International Medical Corps, RESULTS, Save the Children, and World Food Program USA.
These endorsing organizations commend Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) for introducing a bipartisan resolution (H. Res. 254) recognizing the global challenge of maternal and child malnutrition and the critical role of U.S. leadership in addressing this costly health and development challenge. The resolution builds on commitments made by the U.S. at the Nutrition for Growth summit, and specifically calls on relevant U.S. government agencies to develop a comprehensive nutrition strategy that more effectively targets and tracks resources.
Nearly 200 million children are chronically malnourished and suffer from lifelong, irreversible physical and cognitive damage as a result. Malnutrition contributes to 45 percent of all child deaths annually and 40 percent of all maternal deaths. Children who survive early childhood malnutrition are often stunted, which is the outward manifestation of malnutrition. Stunted children have more difficulty learning in school, are more likely to suffer illnesses, and will earn less as adults than children who are not stunted.
The resolution draws attention to the opportunities to scale up targeted investments in proven solutions, particularly during the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday. Such cost-effective interventions can help children grow into productive, self-sufficient contributors to a country’s economic development. Experts estimate as much as a $138 return for every dollar invested in maternal and child nutrition, through better health and increased productivity.
At a time when less than one percent of official development assistance goes to nutrition, the resolution also identifies the critical need for high-level leadership and commitment from all stakeholders. This resolution highlights the critical contributions of the U.S. government toward combating malnutrition globally, including the 1,000 Days Call to Action to support the global Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) movement and commitments at the Nutrition for Growth summit. It supports U.S. leadership to improve nutrition for millions of women and children around the world.
Our organizations thank Rep. Wasserman Schultz and Rep. Diaz-Balart for their bipartisan leadership to draw attention to the scourge of malnutrition, which now harms more than 800 million people. And we encourage other members of Congress to cosponsor and support this resolution.
Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad.
Fito Moreno, Interim Media Relations Manager, 202-688-1138