I would like to thank the Deseret News for the Aug. 13 editorial, "Don't Stint on Sick Children."
President Bush and 70 other heads of state committed themselves and their countries' resources two years ago to reaching significant goals for the world's children, goals to be achieved by the year 2000.Promises were made to the 40,000 children who will die today and who die every day from preventable malnutrition and disease; to the 100 million primary school-age children around the world who are not in school learning to read and write and gain the vital skills required to make it in this world. We must have the integrity, the compassion and the foresight to keep these promises.
The U.S. House of Representatives has fallen short of this commitment by appropriating $100 million less than is required for child survival and basic education. The Senate will be reviewing the foreign aid appropriation bill in the coming days and has the opportunity to add the $100 million in their version of the bill and hold to this increase when the House and the Senate go to conference on the legislation.
I ask the senators to urge Sens. Leahy and Kasten of the Foreign Operations Subcommittee to include a $60 million increase for child survival and $40 million increase for basic education. The increases can be funded by the cuts made in foreign military assistance.
The Nobel Prize recipient Gabriela Mistral observed, "We are guilty of many errors and many faults, but our worst crime is abandoning the children, neglecting the fountain of life. Many of the things we need can wait. The child cannot. Right now is the time his bones are being formed, his blood is being made and his senses are being developed. To him we cannot answer `Tomorrow.' His name is `Today.' "