Budget-conscious America should not risk global advances in reducing child and maternal mortality or related U.S. interests, prominent experts argue in Save the Children’s State of the World’s Mothers report, released today.
Currently, the United States spends only one half of 1 percent of the federal budget on poverty-focused development and humanitarian programs. Yet the report finds that these cost-effective programs have saved the lives of millions of children, make a critical difference in the lives of vulnerable families around the world and help America.
Save the Children’s report features notable “Champions for Children” and evidence including:
– Bipartisan U.S. global leadership has been critical to reducing child deaths from 12 million to 8 million in the last 20 years and must continue, according to former Republican Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and former U.S. senator and governor from New Jersey, Democrat John Corzine.
– Of the 15 countries who receive the most U.S. development assistance, 14 have achieved reductions in child mortality ranging from 20 to 77 percent since 1990.
– Former Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy argues U.S. development investments are critical to the future of the U.S. economy. She states: “Most new-income growth will come from developing countries and U.S. corporations are increasingly dependent on that fact.”
– Today, 10 of the world’s 15 biggest importers of U.S. goods and services are countries that formerly received aid from U.S. assistance programs.
– Actress Jennifer Garner advocates that all the world’s mothers should have access to basic health services that could prevent the vast majority of 350,000 maternal deaths each year.
– U.S. Army Col. John Agoglia, who recently retired from leading counterinsurgency training in Afghanistan, says “Our policymakers must remember: an investment in people that improves their chances to survive and progress is an investment in our national security…. We need not wait for war to act.”
– Best-selling authors Rick and Kay Warren (The Purpose-Driven Life), urge people of faith to join the effort to save mothers’ and children’s lives.
– Leading experts from Johns Hopkins University explain how a cadre of community health workers, with only six weeks training and a few basic tools, can reduce child mortality by 24 percent or more.
– Although the United States puts more total dollars toward overseas development assistance than any nation, it gives only 0.2 percent of its gross national income. That’s a smaller share than 18 other wealthy donor nations.
– The President of Malawi discusses how his country – one of the world’s poorest – has succeeded in cutting the child mortality rate in half since 1990.
– Princeton University Bioethics Professor, Peter Singer says individual Americans have the power to save children’s lives now and they need to take action.
– U.S. Representative Donald Payne notes in sub-Saharan Africa, two decades of improvements in health, education and incomes have saved the lives of an estimated 7 million children since 2005.
– A Texas mom shares the inspiring story of her own daughter’s survival, using the proven “Kangaroo Mother” technique that is saving thousands of premature babies in the developing world.
Save the Children’s 2011 State of the World’s Mothers report also includes annual rankings of the world’s best and worst places to be a mother. Norway ranks 1st and Afghanistan last in the new report. Eight of the 10 worst countries to be a mother are in sub-Saharan Africa. In Afghanistan, expecting mothers are at least 200 times more likely to die in childbirth than from bombs or bullets.
The U.S. ranks #31 out of 43 developed countries – down three spots from last year’s report.
To explore the full report, visit: www.savethechildren.org/world-mothers.