NASHVILLE, July 11, 2018 – A variety of leaders from the Faith-based Coalition for Healthy Mothers Worldwide, including actress Kim Paisley; speaker and author Jen Hatmaker; and recording artist and founder of Blood:Water, Dan Haseltine, will join together with pastors Paul Osteen, MD and Jon Middendorf for meetings in Washington, D.C., July 16-17, to stand for global health and development funding which saves the lives of mothers and children in the developing world. Though the President’s Budget proposed a thirty percent cut to the International Development “150” Account, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees recently passed bills that would restore that funding to Fiscal Year 2018 levels, which would be a victory for the global health community. While encouraged by the Appropriations Committees’ movement of these two bills, the group will continue to press Congress to pass these bills that Appropriations has approved.
“This account – less than one percent of the total U.S. budget – funds vital programs that have saved millions of lives in the past 20 years,” said Jenny Dyer, CEO and executive director of Hope Through Healing Hands, the faith-based nonprofit spearheading these efforts. “Our research shows how imperative it is that we preserve and restore funding to this account. Consider:
- More than 14 million victims of HIV and AIDS have access to antiretroviral (ARV) medication thanks to PEPFAR.
- 22 Million lives have been saved with access to ARVs, bednets, and tuberculosis treatment thanks to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.
- The number of child deaths from preventable, treatable illnesses like pneumonia, diarrhea, and malnutrition has been cut in half since 1990 thanks to investments in maternal and child health, including GAVI and nutrition.
- The number of maternal mortality deaths have been cut in half since 1990 thanks in part to our critical investments in international family planning for healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.”
The group will meet with both Republican and Democratic appropriations committee members and others, making it a truly bi-partisan effort. In addition to pleading their cause with Members of Congress, they also hope to meet with the bipartisan Women’s Caucus and with women chiefs of staff to help provide an education and background on many of these issues that aren’t widely understood.
“Many people don’t realize how integral funding for international family planning is to saving the lives of women and children in the developing world,” says actress and author Kimberly Williams-Paisley. “Not only is it proven to be a life-saving mechanism for millions, it is crucial for girls so that they can pursue their education, and for moms so that they can go back to work to help feed their families. With healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies, families are also better able to afford to keep their kids in school. It may be the most important investment we make in helping to break the cycle of extreme poverty and create lasting change for these nations.”
High-profile pastors making the trip include Dr. Paul Osteen, a general surgeon and a teaching pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, and Rev. Jon Middendorf, Senior Pastor at OKC First Church of the Nazarene in Oklahoma City, Okla.,, showing a commitment to preserve and restore funding for maternal and child health across faith denominations, party divides and all parts of the nation.
“Our faith holds us to a higher standard, that we should care for the poor, the orphans and widows and the hungry,” said Dr. Osteen. “If we are to be true emissaries of God’s love in the world today, that must include mothers in Africa who face death in childbirth, teen girls in South America, and children in Asia at risk of human trafficking. How can we not help, when for most of us that only means using our voices to advocate for the funding that can prevent these tragedies?”
Note to editors: For more information, visit http://www.alarryross.com/newsroom/hope-through-healing-hands-2/.
Hope Through Healing Hands is a Nashville-based humanitarian organization with a mission to promote improved quality of life for citizens and communities around the world using health as a currency for peace. Senator Bill Frist, M.D., is the founder and chair of the organization, and Jenny Eaton Dyer, Ph.D., is the CEO/Executive Director.