Over the past several decades, the world—with a strong commitment from the United States—has made great progress toward ending hunger by promoting global nutrition programs. Hunger and poverty rates have been cut nearly in half during the past 30 years. In countries such as Ghana and Honduras, stunting—when a child does not grow and develop properly because of chronic malnutrition—has been reduced by nearly one-third in approximately 10 years.
We have the tools to move toward our goal of ending hunger. Good nutrition during the 1,000-day period from the beginning of a woman’s pregnancy to her child’s second birthday is critical to a child’s health and future well-being.
As people of faith, we are called to care for one another and speak out for those in need. Bread for the World’s 2019 Offering of Letters: Better Nutrition, Better Tomorrow urges our government to accelerate progress toward ending hunger by increasing funding for global child nutrition programs.
Today, nearly 821 million people in the world—11 percent of the world’s population—remain hungry. One in 4 of the world’s children are affected by stunting, resulting in irreversible life consequences. Countries in Central America, South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa are disproportionately affected. Almost half of all child deaths worldwide are linked to malnutrition.
The Way Forward
To accelerate progress on nutrition, we must scale up what we know works: improved access to nutritious foods, vitamins and minerals, clean water and sanitation, promotion of breastfeeding, and treatment for severe malnutrition.
Current funding is not enough to reach our global nutrition goals, and powerful political forces are pushing to curtail poverty-focused assistance. Every child deserves a chance to survive and thrive. And when children thrive, so do economies—leading to greater global economic and political stability. Let’s join together to urge our government to expand support for global nutrition programs that will improve the lives of millions of children and mothers worldwide.
1. Urge Congress to support a global initiative to accelerate progress on nutrition: Congress should pass legislation to establish a new, scaled-up approach to global nutrition. Passage of a bill or resolution will strengthen U.S. commitment to global child nutrition and will lead other countries to join us in the global effort to end hunger.
2. Urge Congress to protect and increase funding for global nutrition: Congress should increase funding for global nutrition programs. At the same time, our government—through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in particular—should strengthen its capacity to address malnutrition.
You can add your voice to this cause at our Annual Offering of Letters on September 8th or if you are coming to the Fellowship Dinner on September 4th.
Scripture Readings for September 1, 2019
12th Sunday after Pentecost
Psalm 81:1, 10-16
Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16
Luke 14:1, 7-14