Nutrition for mothers and children everywhere


By Jordan Teague

Bread for the World is committed to ending hunger in our country and around the world by 2030. We are working toward this goal through the 2016 Offering of Letters: Survive and Thrive, which is focused on global maternal and child nutrition.

We recognize that malnutrition, hunger, and poverty are still pervasive in our own country, and we continue to encourage our nation’s decision makers to craft policies that will alleviate this suffering in the United States. However, we see global maternal and child nutrition as just as important and believe our country has a role to play in ending hunger and poverty globally.

Supporting other countries in ending hunger isn’t only a moral imperative – it also supports the global economy and makes our world a better place to live. In this era of globalization, our nation is tied to other nations in many ways.

Focusing on improving maternal and child nutrition abroad won’t take away from our domestic focus on U.S. mothers and children or child nutrition programs.

In fact, poverty-focused development assistance continues to represent less than 1 percent of the total federal budget, and global health spending through the U.S. Agency for International Development is less than a tenth of a percent of total federal spending.

The small portion of funding for nutrition within global health programs reaches millions of women and children around the world with lifesaving nutritional support, but with 159 million children suffering from chronic undernutrition, the need is vast. The U.S. government should continue to partner with other donors and national governments to provide these nutrition programs in areas of need.

We want Congress to fund global nutrition programs at $230 million. This relatively small amount could help the U.S. government reach more than 27 million women and children with important nutrition interventions, according to cost estimates from the World Bank, Results for Development, and 1,000 Days. This amounts to about $8.50 per child per year. Because nutrition is so important to health, education, and the global economy, this $230 million would have far-reaching effects in the fight against hunger and poverty around the world.

Ending hunger by 2030 means ending hunger everywhere. While still working to improve our own maternal and child nutrition, the U.S. must also do its part to support other nations to improve nutrition, end hunger, and eliminate poverty.

Learn more about the 2016 Offering of Letters: Survive and Thrive and make sure to participate in a letter-writing event.

Jordan Teague is the international policy analyst for food security and nutrition at Bread for the World.

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