New Legislation Will Help Reach Every Mother and Child
Washington, DC, October 7, 2015 — A new bipartisan bill introduced in the House of Representatives today aims to put a stop to the unnecessary deaths of mothers and children globally. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 would enshrine important development reforms into law, ensuring the U.S. does its part to help countries to end preventable child and maternal deaths by 2035. It would help make certain that mothers and children can not only survive, but thrive.
The Reach Act, led by Representatives Dave Reichert (R-WA), Betty McCollum (D-MN), Barbara Lee (D-CA), and Michael McCaul (R-TX), is grounded in the global consensus that the end of these preventable deaths is possible. It builds on the recommendations of a Blue Ribbon Panel of experts that identified important reforms for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and its work supporting countries to save the lives of mothers and children.
“The Reach Act represents the kind of ambition we need to help countries reach the end of preventable maternal and child deaths,” said Dr. Joanne Carter, Executive Director of RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund. “Following the leadership of Reps. Reichert, McCollum, Lee, and McCaul, Congress has the chance to help make sure every mother and child is reached with quality services, regardless of who she is or where she lives.”
In September, UNICEF released new data showing that the number of children under five dying every year has been cut by more than half since 1990. Longstanding, bipartisan U.S. support for child survival has played a key role in this progress. Yet the world still loses 5.9 million children every year, largely from preventable causes.
The Reach Act would strengthen and support the work of USAID, requiring clear targets, better accountability, investment in the most effective strategies to save lives, and a focus on the poorest and most vulnerable populations.
Earlier this summer, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate, S.1911. The Senate bill has already garnered support from both parties, as well as a diverse coalition of humanitarian organizations, faith-based groups, development experts, and the private sector.
“The end of preventable maternal and child deaths is possible, but the world is still losing 11 children under age five every single minute. The need for this legislation couldn’t be clearer,” said Carter. “Congress should act quickly to take up and pass this lifesaving bill.”
About RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund:
RESULTS and RESULTS Educational Fund are sister organizations that, together, are a leading force in ending poverty in the United States and around the world. We create long-term solutions to poverty by supporting programs that address its root causes — lack of access to health, education, or opportunity to move up the economic ladder. We empower ordinary people to become extraordinary voices for the end of poverty in their communities, the media, and the halls of government. The collective voices of these passionate grassroots activists leverage millions of dollars for programs and improved policies that give low-income people the tools they need to move out of poverty.