Congressional Appropriations Committees Reject Cuts in Maternal and Child Health Funding in FY19 Appropriations

Media Contact: Allie Wright, [email protected], (202) 794-1823

Washington, D.C. (June 21, 2018) – The Senate and House Appropriations Committees this week each approved the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs (SFOPs) fiscal year 2019 appropriations bills, which reject the Trump Administration’s proposed drastic cuts to the international affairs budget overall and includes increases in funding for maternal and child health and nutrition programs and maintains funding for humanitarian assistance and other programs.

“U.S. leadership in addressing humanitarian and development challenges has never been more critical. We applaud bipartisan leaders of both committees for ensuring continued investments in programs that help children globally. Maintaining funding for key programs such as food security, and humanitarian assistance ensures that every last child is able to survive and thrive, including children affected by conflict,” said Carolyn Miles, President and CEO of Save the Children.

Families – and children in particular – around the world face escalating challenges, thus putting a premium on strong American leadership in the world. One in 6 children live in conflict, with girls being disproportionately impacted and an estimated 20 million people in places like Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen are threatened by famine-like conditions. It is unacceptable that 250 million children are not in school and that 15,000 children are continuing to die from preventable causes every day.

While the House bill maintains funding for basic education, Miles said Save the Children is concerned about the proposed Senate level of $515 million for this program. Education is the foundation for a child’s ability to thrive and is a significant contributor to a country’s economy. She urged Congress to adopt the House number of $800 million in the final State/Foreign Operations bill.

“We have made significant progress in saving the lives of the millions of mothers and children around the world who die needlessly each year from causes we know how to prevent and treat,” said Kris Perry, President of Save the Children Action Network. “We are encouraged by the committees’ dedication of resources that can help us get even closer to bringing these numbers to zero. We look forward to working with Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate to ensure these critical increases in funding remain in the final bill later this year.”

Congress also demonstrated their continued support for gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment; and signaled its continued interest in the USAID transformation process including, encouraging ongoing consultation and dialogue.

Highlights from the House bill include:

  • Maternal and Child Health – $845 million, an increase from FY18 enacted level of $829.5 million
    • This includes $290 for Gavi, a public–private global health partnership committed to increasing access to immunization in developing countries
  • Nutrition – $145 million, an increase of $20 million from FY18 enacted level of $125 million
  • International Disaster Assistance – $4.320 billion, same as FY18 enacted
  • Migration and Refugee Assistance – $3.360 billion, level funding from FY18 enacted
  • Feed the Future – $1 billion, level funding from FY 18 enacted
  • Basic Education – $800 million, level funding from FY18 enacted
  • USAID Operating Expenses – $1.347 billion, level funded from FY 18 enacted

Highlights from the Senate bill include:

  • Maternal and Child Health – $829.5 million, level from FY18 enacted
    • This includes $290 for Gavi
  • Nutrition – $135 million, a 10 m increase from FY 18 enacted level of $125 million
  • International Disaster Assistance – $4.4 billion, a slight increase over FY18 enacted
  • Migration and Refugee Assistance –$3.343 billion, level funding from FY18 enacted
  • Feed the Future – $1 billion, level funding from FY 18 enacted
  • Basic Education – $515 million, $285 million decrease from FY 18 enacted
  • USAID Operating Expenses – $1.46 billion, slight increase from FY 18 enacted

# # #

Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Save the Children Action Network is the political voice for kids. We believe that every child deserves the best start in life. That’s why we’re building bipartisan will and voter support to make sure every child in the U.S. has access to high-quality early learning and that no mother or child around the globe dies from a preventable disease or illness. By investing in kids and holding leaders accountable, we are helping kids from birth to age five survive and thrive. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.