Good news for the Global Fight Against Malnutrition


The Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act of 2021 has passed!

The U.S. Congress has passed the Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act! On Sept. 21, the Senate unanimously passed the legislation after passage in the House in April. Once signed by the president, it will become law.

Chronic malnutrition of children under 5 years has decreased between 1990 and 2020, from 253 million to 144 million globally. Investments by the United States and other poverty-reducing multilateral efforts have contributed greatly to this progress.

However, malnutrition continues to be one of the top risk factors contributing to nearly half of all preventable deaths among children under age five.

Adult struggles differ. The World Health Organization reports that 1.9 billion adults are overweight or obese and another 462 million are underweight. On the other hand, the report indicated in 2020 149 million children under 5 were estimated to be undernourished, and this undernutrition is linked to 45 percent of deaths in this age group, mostly in low-and middle-income countries. Unfortunately, childhood malnutrition rates are expected to increase due to the social-economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To bolster the fight against malnutrition, we are encouraged that the bipartisan Global Malnutrition Prevention and Treatment Act of 2021 has passed. This legislation will authorize USAID to advance targeted programs to prevent and treat malnutrition around the world. It elevates nutrition programs across various U.S. global health interventions, food security systems and other sectors, and it requires USAID to coordinate with other development agencies, partner governments and local actors. Finally, this bill strengthens agencies’ capacity to monitor these interventions to ensure effective use of taxpayer dollars.

As a church, our global ministries work to provide immediate relief and address long-term causes of extreme poverty, contributing to reduction of global malnutrition cases. As our government further continues the fight against global malnutrition, we want to ensure it does so as effectively as possible. This bill attempts to do that.

If you choose, customize this Action Alert to thank your senators.

[updated 9/23/22]


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