Throughout 2018, Rise Against Hunger has worked to create access to early childhood nutrition for all, one of our 2018 public policy priorities.
This issue is close to our hearts. Around the globe 160 million children suffer from chronic undernutrition, leaving them permanently impaired and vulnerable to disease. Recognizing that nutrition is critical in the fight against hunger, we are committed to advocating for early childhood nutrition for all.
Poor nutrition can prevent children from thriving, leading to stunted growth and impaired cognitive ability. Children can suffer lifelong effects including health problems, underperformance in school and lost earning potential. Worldwide, one in four children experiences stunted growth, with numbers as high as one in two in some regions.
This year, alongside a coalition of like-minded groups, Rise Against Hunger has pushed for passage of the Reach Every Mother and Child (REACH) Act. The REACH Act, which has been introduced in the Senate (S. 1730) and the House (H.R. 4022), has strong bipartisan support. Nearly half of the members of the Senate and the House have already signed on to co-sponsor the bill with strong support on both sides of the aisle. Now, with only a short time left in this Congress, we need to give a final push to get the bill passed this year! If it doesn’t pass in 2018, we will start the process again with a new session of Congress in 2019.
The REACH Act proposes reforms that will hold the U.S. Agency for International Development accountable for a smarter, more effective approach to ending preventable maternal and child deaths. The bill would establish a five-year strategy to achieve the goal of ending preventable child and maternal deaths globally, create a Maternal and Child Survival Coordinator position to oversee the work, and require annual reporting to Congress on the progress toward these goals.
Let’s take action on this bill, working to ensure that every child, regardless of where the world the child is born, has a healthy start in life. Now is the time to act!
Please send a short note to your Senators to tell them the REACH Act is important to you and you want to see it passed before the end of the year. Find contact information for your Senators and check to see if they have already signed on to co-sponsor the bill. Every Senator, even those that have already co-sponsored the bill, can be reminded that this is an important bill and it needs to move before the end of the year.
To learn more about Rise Against Hunger’s advocacy efforts, sign up to be a Hunger Champion and join us as we raise our voices to end hunger.