SOURCE: Save the Children

Save the Children

March 02, 2011 10:29 ET

Hillary Clinton's Message to Senate Echoed by Kids on Capitol Hill Wednesday: Reject Drastic Foreign Aid Cuts

Proposed Cuts to Global Health Funding Enough to Strip 32 Million Children of Lifesaving Treatments, Save the Children Says at Advocacy Day Drawing Kids From Around U.S.

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - March 2, 2011) - As Secretary of State Hillary Clinton testifies before Senate committees Wednesday, hundreds of children's advocates -- a third of them children themselves -- are visiting congressional offices with a similar message: don't slash foreign aid.

"I think Congress should know kids are the future. They should be healthy everywhere," said Lexie Viklund, 14.

The Long Island, NY 9th grader was among participants from 19 states around the country attending Save the Children's annual advocacy day, Wednesday. The event coincided with a heated budget debate on the Hill and Secretary Clinton's testimony in the Senate about foreign affairs funding.

"This is a truly scary time when you think of how many children around the world could lose access to lifesaving care brought about through U.S. programs," said Charles MacCormack, Save the Children president and CEO.

"Make no mistake, Americans will lose too with drastic cuts," MacCormack added. "Investing in global development that reduces suffering of the world's poorest children is an investment in our common future. It's an investment in global stability and economic growth that benefits us all."

"We hope the Senate listens to Secretary Clinton today and we hope all of Congress listens to American children here today to advocate for less fortunate children around the world," he said.

Save the Children supporters told members of Congress Wednesday that a potential cuts to maternal and child health funding would be equivalent to eliminating vaccines and treatments that could reach up to 32 million poor children around the world. 

Annually, 8 million children die of largely preventable and treatable causes. Over 40 percent die in the first month of life -- most in the absence of very basic health care. House leaders continue talking about rolling back "non-security" funding back to FY08 levels. Applied to the maternal and child health account, that would represent a $453 million cut to President Obama's FY11 budget request. 

Save the Children said that sum could provide all of these:

  • 8 million children with antibiotics to treat pneumonia, the biggest killer of children under 5
  • 12.5 million children with oral rehydration salts to treat diarrhea, the 2nd biggest killer
  • 7 million children with vaccines against seven childhood diseases
  • Midwifery training for thousands of health workers to help ensure a safe delivery and lifesaving care for their newborn

At this week's events, Save the Children also named its 2011 Congressional Champions for Children honorees. Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA), Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Roger Wicker, (R-MS) were recognized for their work on behalf of children in the United States and worldwide.

To get involved in Save the Children's newborn and survival campaign, visit www.GoodGoes.org.

Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and 120 countries around the world.

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