Rep. Bill Orton, D-Utah, is pushing legislation designed to improve the nutrition, health and education of children worldwide.
He is co-sponsoring a bill introduced by Rep. Matt McHugh, D-N.Y., to implement goals set last year by the World Summit for Children sponsored by the United Nations.Those goals include reducing child mortality rates worldwide by one-third, providing universal access to basic education and increasing the rate of primary school completion worldwide to at least 80 percent.
For U.S. children, the bill that Orton is pushing would increase spending for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program, which provides food supplements and education. It would also boost funding for Head Start (a preschool program), and for a major children's vaccine initiative to increase immunization at home and abroad.
For children abroad, the bill would also increase funding for international programs in child survival, basic education, AIDS treatment and distribution of vitamins.
"It is estimated that 250,000 children worldwide die each week of malnutrition and disease," Orton said. "The misery of this loss is unimaginable, particularly since there are proven ways to prevent many of these deaths."
Orton's action brought him praise from the Utah office of
RESULTS, a group seeking to help end world hunger.