U.S. House of Representatives Reintroduces Bill to Save Lives of Mothers and Children Around the World

Last Congress, the Reach Every Mother and Child Act became the most widely-supported piece of bipartisan global health legislation in at least a decade.

FAIRFIELD, Conn. (October 12, 2017)— Save the Children President and CEO Carolyn Miles and Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) President Mark Shriver today applauded U.S. Representatives Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Dan Donovan (R-New York) for introducing legislation that would help save the lives of mothers and children around the world.

"Children shouldn’t die from things like diarrhea, malaria and malnutrition. But tragically every day, 16,000 kids all over the world die from these kinds of treatable illnesses. That is simply unacceptable," said Miles. "We have already made great progress, but there is more to do. With U.S. leadership, we can lower these numbers to zero."

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act (H.R. 4022) is a bold, bipartisan policy initiative supported by more than 50 diverse non-profit and faith-based organizations, working to end maternal, newborn and child mortality overseas. This crucial legislation can help achieve the U.S. commitment to ending these deaths within a generation.

In the last session of Congress, more than half the House, 219 members, joined on as cosponsors, along with 36 Senators, making it the most widely-supported piece of bipartisan global health legislation in at least a decade.

In the Senate, the Reach Act (S. 1730) was introduced in August by Senators Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) and has an additional 12 cosponsors.

Taking lessons learned from other successful global health initiatives such as PEPFAR and the President’s Malaria Initiative, the Reach Act would enact key reforms that increase the effectiveness and impact of USAID maternal and child survival programs.

"This bill does not authorize new programs funded by the American taxpayer," said Shriver. "It simply ensures our government and partners are being as effective as possible in saving the lives of mothers and children around the world. I look forward to working with our champions in Congress to put this legislation on the President’s desk."

The Reach Act would require a coordinated U.S. government strategy for contributing to ending preventable child and maternal deaths and establish rigorous reporting requirements to improve transparency, accountability, efficiency and oversight of maternal and child health programs. The bill would also ensure USAID focuses on increasing access to the highest impact, evidence-based interventions to maximize our return on investment.

Additionally, the bill would help USAID explore and implement new and innovative financing tools, such as pay-for-success contracting, to complement existing assistance and help countries along the path to self-sustainability.

Next week, SCAN is hosting a nationwide Week of Action, in which advocates will hold events in states across the country to urge lawmakers to cosponsor the Reach Act.

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