Letters to the editor: Dec. 6, 2017

Reach Every Mother and Child Act

During the holidays, it’s difficult to reconcile images of plentiful feasting — in media and at my own table — with the reality of poor nutrition for people in extreme poverty. I am especially moved by stories about mothers without enough resources to feed their children.  

We know the quality of a person’s nutrition early in life, particularly during the 1,000 days between a woman’s pregnancy and her child’s second birthday, can determine the future course of the child’s health, education, and lifetime earning potential. Yet under-nutrition contributes to almost half of 6 million under-five child deaths and the stunting of 165 million children annually.

I give to charitable organizations to feed hungry people, but the number of people I can help pales in comparison of the number that could be impacted with better U.S. maternal/child health policies. The Reach Every Mother and Child Act (H.R.4022/S.1730) proposes reforms that hold USAID accountable for a smarter and more effective approach to saving more lives. It requires a centralized and coherent strategy to maximize investments. I thank Rep. Ann Wagner for co-signing the Reach Act and urge Reps. William Lacy Clay and Blaine Luetkemeyer to join her. Senators Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill can co-sign the Senate version.  

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Cynthia Levin, Town and Country