Global Nutrition Resolution Recognizes Importance of U.S. Leadership

Angie Galvez sips her drink after enjoying her meal provided in rural Guatemala. USAID provides funding for school meals (Food for Education) in some of the most impoverished and malnurished areas. Photo: Joe Molieri / Bread for the World

Washington, D.C. – Bread for the World today celebrated the introduction of a House resolution recognizing the importance of United States leadership in the global progress against maternal and child malnutrition. H.Res. 189, introduced by Representatives Roger Marshall (R-KS) and Jim McGovern (D-MA), supports the commitment of the U.S. government, including the U.S. Agency for International Development, to achieving global nutrition goals. Bread worked with Reps. Marshall and McGovern on the resolution.

“Continued United States leadership is crucial if we are to end the epidemic of global malnutrition,” said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. “I commend Representatives Marshall and McGovern for highlighting the role of U.S. leadership on global nutrition, and the effectiveness of USAID’s lifesaving nutrition interventions.”   

“As an obstetrician-gynecologist for over 25 years, educating and providing my patients with resources on nutrition was a major focus of my work.  Brain development, bone density, and weight all start in the womb and healthy habits during pregnancy, and instilled afterwards play an important role in a child’s physical and intellectual capabilities” said Congressman Marshall. “The importance of nutrition in the weeks prior to conception, during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, and within the early years of infancy cannot be overstated. I will remain focused on advocating for healthy lifestyles in America and around the globe, and am proud to introduce this resolution.”

“Good nutrition saves lives.  It keeps children healthy.  And it results in healthier, more stable and productive families and adults,” said Congressman McGovern.  “This is a solvable problem. USAID and the international community have made significant progress over the last three decades in addressing undernutrition and malnutrition in children, but more needs to be done.  Over 151 million children in the world are undernourished.  It is critical for the United States to sustain our engagement on child nutrition and build on our success.  This is the best way for us to show the world what America stands for and use our influence to make a real difference in people’s lives.”

“Good nutrition is the cornerstone of all development efforts, not only for healthy individuals but also for the development of families, communities, nations, and the world as a whole,” said Roger Thurow, senior fellow of The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and author of “The First 1,000 Days.” “The costs of malnutrition touch every one of us. A stunted child anywhere becomes a stunted child everywhere; a lost chance at greatness for one child is a lost chance for us all.”

Good nutrition in the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday lays a strong foundation for her child’s health, physical growth, and brain development. Almost half of all child deaths worldwide are linked to malnutrition and 1 in 4 children worldwide are stunted.

“U.S. leadership has made a difference in hundreds of millions of children’s lives, but there is much more that needs to be done,” added Beckmann. “The progress against malnutrition must be accelerated, and the U.S. should help lead the way.”

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