To Complete Unfinished Child Survival Agenda, Focus On Reaching Most Marginalized Children

“As the international community engages in a last push to decrease child deaths annually from 12 million in 1990 to four million by 2015, world leaders [met] for the ‘Child Survival — Call to Action’ Summit in Washington, D.C., [earlier this month] to set an even more ambitious goal of ‘ending all preventable child deaths’ down to two million by 2035,” Kul Chandra Gautam, former deputy executive director of UNICEF, writes in this post in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, adding, “This is a fitting moment for reflection and celebration of USAID’s 50th anniversary, and 30 years of historic contribution and leadership in what came to be known as a global Child Survival and Development Revolution (CSDR).”

“The philosophical underpinnings of the CSDR can be traced back to the establishment of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) by President John F. Kennedy in 1961,” Gautam notes, adding, “Kennedy’s call to action to end world poverty had inspired a young American named James P. Grant.” Gautam provides a history of the CSDR, highlighting Grant’s role, and writes that “collaboration between USAID and UNICEF produced great results, saving millions of child lives every year. Besides the intrinsic merits of promoting child survival, the solid U.S. backing encouraged WHO, the World Bank, European and other donors to join ranks, leading to a true global movement for child survival and development.” He concludes, “To complete the unfinished CSDR agenda, a big priority now should be to focus on equity and make a deliberate effort to reach the most deprived and marginalized children” (6/22).  

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