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.
Going into its third year, UNICEF’s Next Generation is growing strong. Three projects have now been completed -Next Gen has truly made a difference in the lives of children and families in Guatemala, Ethiopia and Haiti.
As you know from our advocacy page on the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), as a member of the Campaign for U.S. Ratification of the CRC, we continue to urge the Obama Administration to move the treaty ratification process forward. A couple of items that came across my desk recently reminded me that Americans of good conscience also believe we can better support children both in this country and around the world by ratifying the CRC.
In April, New York State Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee and 30 of her colleagues sent a letter to President Obama and the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, urging them to move forward with CRC ratification. These state legislators noted that the ratifying the CRC would reinforce our Nation’s commitment to children everywhere, and provide us with a set of standards and principles to address issues that children face here in the United States. “Whenever a child’s most basic rights are being denied or abused anywhere, we are obligated as a Nation to act,” said Assemblywoman Jaffee. “Our leaders must recognize our moral role in the world to stand up for the rights of children both in and outside of our borders.”
Every year, in the appropriations for foreign operations, the U.S. Congress provides a contribution to UNICEF. This funding helps UNICEF to meet the needs of children around the around and is an essential building block in our efforts to prevent children from dying of causes we can prevent.
Congress now is working on the budget for Fiscal Year 2012, which starts on October 1st. As part of that effort, the House Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs held a public witness hearing. Cynthia McCaffrey, Senior Vice President for Program and Strategic Partnerships of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, testified before the Subcommittee on behalf of UNICEF’s supporters across the country.
U.S. Federal funding for life-saving global efforts is in jeopardy. While it is clear that our Nation needs to reduce the Federal budget deficit, most Americans do not want the small but vital child survival and maternal health programs put on the chopping block. We need to let our Senators and Representatives know that Americans care about this essential funding. They need to know you care
What was the best thing about March? March madness? Launch of Celebrity Tap?
We think a contender is this piece written by UNICEF Ambassador Lucy Liu about her anti-trafficking work and the successes and challenges that women still face today.