Martin Rendón is the Vice President for Public Policy & Advocacy at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
The Congressional Global Health Caucus sponsored a briefing for Congressional aides on “Global Health and Children.” I was asked to provide an overview and moderate the panel which included representatives from Save the Children, Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, World Vision, and CARE USA.
|U.S. Fund for UNICEF/2011|
|Global Health and Children panelists with aides to Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), the Co-Chairs of the Congressional Global Health Caucus.|
Our collective message to the Hill was that progress is being made to reduce the number of children who die of preventable causes. The funding and leadership provided by the United States Government, in partnership with international organizations like UNICEF, non-governmental organizations, foundations, corporate partners, service clubs, and individual donors have helped cut under-five child mortality rates by a third since 1990. The money raised and implemented is measurably making a difference – but work remains to get the 22,000 children who die each day down to Zero.
Congress will be making hard choices in the weeks ahead on appropriations for global programs that save and improve children’s lives. We encouraged the Congressional aides in the audience to work to ensure that children are a foreign policy priority.
We know that the Federal budget will be cut. But we also know that some amount of money will be spent on international assistance programs. Our appeal is for Congress to make sure that global child survival programs are protected and increased so that more lives can be saved. Children in need know no politics!
Please join Caryl M. Stern, the President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, and other child survival advocates to send a message to Congress to protect children in the foreign assistance budget.