Reach Every Mother and ChildThe Reach Every Mother and Child Act of 2015 seeks to provide foreign assistance in order to end preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths globally within a generation.

Every day, approximately 800 women, almost entirely from developing countries, die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. The risk of a woman dying in childbirth is 47 times higher in Africa than in the United States. More than 17,000 children under five years old will die daily from treatable conditions.

Aiding women during pregnancy, childbirth and post delivery, newborns in their first 28 days and children under the age of five is of utmost importance.

Countries that experience the greatest need and highest burden of maternal and child deaths around the world will be primary targets. This strategy focuses on evidence-based interventions, country ownership, monitoring and evaluating programs, transparency and accountability, sustainability and public-private financing mechanisms.

The U.S. government will work with target countries and donors to implement a five-year plan established by the president to achieve the goal of ending preventable maternal and newborn deaths within a generation.

A Child and Maternal Survival Coordinator role will be created to oversee the strategy and ensure all U.S. government funds appropriated are used for international maternal and child health and nutrition programs.

USAID grants, contracts and cooperative agreements designated for the strategy will include targets for increased implementation of high-impact, evidence-based interventions and baseline measurements to quantify progress.

The president will publicly report on the U.S. government’s progress in implementing the strategy annually. Maternal and child health and nutrition initiatives will be detailed in the report along with descriptions of interventions or program designs, reporting on grants, contracts and cooperative agreements awarded and any innovative public-private financing tools that could be used to fund the strategy.

USAID is authorized to grant loans, set aside funds for the implementation of financing tools and make equity investments to carry out provisions of this act.

As of Jan. 29, 2016, the act has received bipartisan support from 37 Democrats and 28 Republicans in the House of Representatives and six Democrats and five Republicans in the Senate.

Summer Jackson

Sources: Borgen Project, Senate, Thomas – Library of Congress
Photo: Art Connect International