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About the Coalition

The U.S. can do more...

With the largest, most prosperous economy, and the greatest wealth of human and technological resources in the world, the United States, more than any nation on earth, has the capability to make the largest contribution to global child health and survival.

Unfortunately, child survival programs fall deep within the vastly under-funded category of international affairs, to which the Government devotes less than 1 percent of the entire annual budgetan amount roughly equivalent to 2 fast-food meals per person in the U.S. Beyond that, the U.S. Foreign Aid allocationthe portion of the international affairs budget that funds overseas economic and humanitarian programs including child survivalamounts to less than one-tenth of one percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP). With this level of foreign aid, the U.S. ranks last among the 21 industrialized donor countries as a percentage of GDP, and falls behind Japan in total spending.

Even with the growing importance of American interests in global security and health issues and increasing reliance on international trade, U.S. expenditure on foreign aid continues to decline and is now at one of the lowest points on record. As a result, the U.S. contribution to UNICEF and the amount of funding for child survival directed through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) (the Government's primary administrator of child survival programs) has remained virtually unchanged for more than a decade. This disappointing level of yearly federal funding allocated to USAID for child survivalcurrently less than $300 millioncontinues its stagnant trend despite persistently high rates of preventable child mortality and increasing global health challenges, such as AIDS and drug-resistant diseases.

As the United Nations Special Session on Children approaches in September 2001, the United States again has an opportunity to assume the central leadership role that is so essential to progress and success in global health and child survival. The U.S. can assume this role by recognizing the fundamental importance of global child health to the world's future and making it a national priority. By increasing its commitment of human, financial and technological resources and dedicating itself to achieving the goals for child health and survival during the next decade, the U.S. has the opportunity to make a lasting impact on the future development and prosperity of the world.

There can scarcely be a better national investment than empowering the children of the developing world through healthy development.

Child and Maternal Health Resolution