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Month: February 2016

1,000 Days Reacts to President’s Budget Request

Today, President Obama released his budget request for fiscal year 2017. Below is the reaction from Lucy Sullivan, 1,000 Days’ Executive Director:

We are deeply disappointed by the Obama Administration’s final budget request for fiscal year 2017 (FY17) of $108.5 million for nutrition within the Global Health Programs Account.  When 45 percent of child deaths are a result of malnutrition, it is unconscionable that the administration continues to under-invest in critical, life-saving nutrition programs.

Moreover, the FY17 request for nutrition is inconsistent with the Administration’s stated priorities. Nutrition investments are core to the success of the U.S. government’s two flagship initiatives – Ending Preventable Child and Maternal Deaths and Feed the Future.  Without greater investment in nutrition, the U.S. government will continue to fall short of its development aims and will be unable to fulfill the vision it so thoughtfully laid out in the USAID Multi-Sectoral Nutrition Strategy.

The Administration’s FY17 request is particularly disheartening in light of the fact that the government of Brazil will be convening world leaders later this year on the eve of the Olympic games in an effort to ensure new commitments are made to put the world on track to meet the agreed-upon global goals to tackle malnutrition. U.S. government leadership at this summit is more critical than ever and sorely needed in order to mobilize new domestic and donor resources for nutrition.  

Urging Congress to Get with the (Paid) Leave Program

Last September 1,000 Days launched a petition on Facebook urging Congress to get with the (paid) leave program. And Americans responded in record breaking numbers!

On Thursday, February 4, 1,000 Days and our friends at the National Partnership for Women & Families had the honor of delivering over 230,000 petition signatures from all 50 states to Congress.

In the United States, too many parents are forced to choose between the jobs that they need and the families that they love.

The U.S. is the only industrialized country without a national paid leave policy, so perhaps it’s not surprising that we’re also a country with low breastfeeding rates and high infant mortality rates. There is a strong correlation between access to paid leave and the length of time a mother is able to successfully breastfeed, the best source of nourishment and immunity for babies. In addition, paid family leave has shown to reduce infant mortality by as much as 20 percent. Yet less than half of new moms in the U.S. have access to paid leave. In fact, one in four women are going back to work just TWO weeks after giving birth!

This is a real life issue for many Americans—many of whom shared their personal experience around paid leave with us. Stories of moms who are forced to leave their babies while still in the NICU, or women who must return to work just days after giving birth despite their bodies not having recovered, or dads who must choose between caring for their wives and newborn babies or their jobs—all simply because the U.S. does not have a paid family leave program.

Let’s keep building  MOMentum for paid leave

In a recent poll by the National Partnership for Women & Families, 79 percent of Americans say they support paid family leave. Yet, the Family And Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY Act) is stalled in Congress. That’s why 1,000 Days and the National Partnership made sure that American’s voices were heard throughout the halls of Congress.

The momentum for paid family leave is growing—three states have paid family leave policies, companies like Amazon and Facebook are ramping up their policies, and presidential candidates are talking about the issue. But we need to keep up the fight in 2016 and beyond!