Save the Children Applauds the Bipartisan Global Food Security Act to Advance the Fight for Child Survival
FAIRFIELD, Conn. (March 25, 2015) — Save the Children today welcomes the introduction of the bipartisan Global Food Security Act of 2015 (H.R 1567) in the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill's strong focus on tackling hunger and the underlying causes of malnutrition are critical to the global effort to end preventable child deaths, nearly half of which are caused by malnutrition.
The bill is a clear showing of bipartisan cooperation and action. It is introduced by food security and nutrition champions Representatives Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Edward R. Royce (R-CA), Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE), Karen Bass (D-CA), Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), Rosa L. DeLauro (D-CT), David G. Reichert (R-WA), Adam Smith (D-WA), Erik Paulsen (R-MN), David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and James P. McGovern (D-MA).
"The Global Food Security Act rightly puts women and children at the center of development and positions nutrition as a critical bridge between agriculture and health,” said Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children.
"Save the Children welcomes the introduction of the Global Food Security Act and looks forward to continuing to work with Congress and the administration to pass this important bill for the world's children," said Miles.
Hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition are intrinsically linked. More than three-quarters of the world's hungry depend on agriculture and food production for their livelihoods. Smart, sustained U.S. investments in small-scale producer livelihoods and nutrition, particularly for women, will break generational cycles of poverty and help children survive, thrive and live up to their full potential.
The bill, if passed into law, would maintain U.S. leadership in global food and nutrition security by building upon the current U.S. initiative known as "Feed the Future," which is working to reduce poverty by 20 percent and prevent stunting, an indicator of chronic malnutrition, in at least 2 million children by 2017.
Malnutrition is the underlying cause of nearly half (3.1 million) of all child deaths under age 5 each year and can reduce a country's GDP by as much as 16 percent. The bill would also institutionalize the USAID Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy 2014-2025 as a guide to achieving long-term progress in tackling malnutrition through multi-sectoral programming.
Feed the Future has proven benchmarks of success, including increased crop production for more than 7 million small scale farmers and reaching 12.5 million children with key nutrition programs in a single year.
The bill authorizes the U.S. government to:
- Develop a comprehensive food security strategy that reduces global poverty, hunger, and malnutrition, particularly among women and children, with specific and measurable goals and targets
- Coordinate efforts across federal departments and agencies for a "whole-of-government" approach
- Support country-owned agriculture and nutrition investment plans to ensure investments are sustainable
- Focus on nutritional outcomes for women and children, particularly in the first 1,000-day window of opportunity between a woman's pregnancy and her child's second birthday
- Put in place strong reporting, oversight and accountability measures
- Invest just over billion for the fiscal year 2016 to carry out the strategy.
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