So much has happened this year, it can be easy to forget all that we’ve accomplished together. Before we jump into the New Year, let’s remind ourselves of some of the GIANT wins secured in 2018 for moms and their young children – both in the United States and around the world:
- We led the fight to hold our leaders accountable when efforts by U.S. officials and the infant formula industry to undermine a U.N. resolution supporting breastfeeding were exposed.
- Members of Congress joined 1,000 Days’ efforts in raising awareness about the benefits of breastfeeding. The House and Senate introduced different resolutions both calling for U.S. support of infant nutrition through breastfeeding.
- The Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services kicked off the process to update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For the first time ever, this will include recommendations for pregnant women, infants and children under two. 1,000 Days is working to help ensure that the guidelines are evidence-based and free from industry influence.
- The Preventing Maternal Deaths Act (H.R.1318) is now law. This was an important first step to end the maternal mortality crisis facing our nation.
- After several years of level funding, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved an increase for global nutrition programs through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). 1,000 Days led efforts to highlight the tremendous global need and the significant return on nutrition investments. (Unfortunately, the foreign assistance funding bill was among the package of spending bills that did not pass in time. Programs will continue to be funded at the current level until the remaining FY19 spending bills are finalized.)
- Congress extended the Global Food Security Act (GFSA) for another 5 years through 2023. This legislation is an important step forward in recognizing that the nutritional status of women and children, especially during the critical 1,000-day window, is essential to building resilience in developing countries. 1,000 Days played a key role in advocating for the nutrition provisions in the legislation and continues to work with USAID to strengthen and expand global nutrition programs.
- Congress finally passed a bipartisan Farm Bill that protects the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and includes needed investments in global nutrition. This means better access to nutritious foods for millions of families with young children.
- Funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) was extended! After hearing loud and clear from families across the country, Congress finally passed needed funding for this program that ensures millions of children can access the doctors, nurses, and specialists they need to thrive.
- For the first time in years, Congress passed a full year of funding for the Department of Health and Human Services in September 2018. This includes additional money to improve health care for pregnant women and newborns, including funding to address maternal mortality.
As we look ahead to 2019, 1,000 Days will continue our work to lift up the needs of moms and babies, both here in the United States and around the world. We are currently gearing up to fight for all families to have access to paid leave, for increased investments in nutrition assistance, and for improved healthcare for moms and young children.