This week, the Biden Administration released their budget proposal for fiscal year 2023. While we are thankful for the Administration’s prioritization of investments in programs that support families living in the United States, we are disappointed with their proposed investments in accounts that support global maternal and child health and nutrition.
These investments, both domestically and globally, greatly contribute to the reduction of child mortality and support long-term health, cognitive development, physical growth, and school and work performance later in life. A child’s first 1,000 days are shaped not only by the decisions made by their parents and caregivers, but also by broader societal and economic factors. We are compelled to demonstrate a sense of urgency for policymakers to act during a child’s first 1,000 days, because we know that failure to do so can have lasting, irreversible consequences for children, their families and society.
We were pleased to see significant funding for several 1,000 Days’ key priorities for families living in the United States, including:
- $6 billion for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), including funding to continue the enhanced Cash Value Benefits for fruits and vegetables and investment in critical research on maternal mortality as well as infant and toddler feeding.
- $470 million to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity rates, expand maternal health initiatives in rural communities and address the highest rates of perinatal health disparities, including by supporting the perinatal health workforce.
- Extending and increasing funding for the Maternal, Infant, and Early Childhood Home Visiting Program, which serves families at risk for poor maternal and child health outcomes each year and is proven to reduce disparities in infant mortality.
- $97 million for the Office of Nutrition Research to advance nutrition science to promote health and reduce the burden of diet-related diseases.
Investments for families outside of the United States fall short. Globally, the FY23 President’s Budget Request of $879.5 billion for Maternal and Child Health and of $150 million for Global Nutrition programs are insufficient and inconsistent with the Administration’s stated priorities. These funding levels are lower than the funding allocated by Congress in the FY22 Omnibus. We are experiencing growing food and nutrition crises that are being exacerbated by global conflict, including in Ukraine, as well as disruptions from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the effects of climate change, which are all driving up food and fertilizer prices and disrupting health services. Now more than ever, we need robust investments in these core health and food security accounts that support fundamental development programming and work to make vulnerable countries more self-reliant and resilient to these unanticipated shocks.
We look forward to working with the Administration and colleagues in Congress to strengthen our FY23 appropriations with stronger global investments including:
- $300 million in the Global Nutrition Subaccount
- $1.1 billion for Maternal and Child Health, including $290 million for Gavi and $165 for polio
- New and additional funding to support the United States’ flagship food security program, Feed the Future