E. W. Ristau, All
As we celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day, my thoughts go to those parents around the world who are unable to provide even the very basics to their children. In the last 30 years, there has been great progress in preventing child deaths, cutting the number in half. The one area where we have been largely stopped is malnutrition. Each year, 2.5 million young children die from undernutrition. One in four children is chronically malnourished and suffers from physical and cognitive impairments.
A lot has been learned in the last 30 years. Nutrition programs, targeting women and children during the critical first 1,000 days from pregnancy to age 2, pay big dividends in better health and increased productivity.
The U.S. government should be putting more resources toward nutrition than the current .03 percent of our development assistance we are currently spending.
On June 8, leading up to the G8 Summit, there will be a first ever Nutrition for Growth pledging meeting hosted by the U.K. and Brazil. The U.S. should pledge $450 million per year for three years. This will lead other donors to step up and help close this gap between current reality and what we know can be done.
Scott A. Leckman
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