December 08, 2020

Castro Statement on Congress Passing the Global Child Thrive Act

WASHINGTON — Today, Congressman Joaquin Castro (TX-20), Vice Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Chairman of its Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee, released the following statement after Congress passed the Global Child Thrive Act as part of the National Defense Authorization Act:

“During the COVID-19 pandemic, children are more vulnerable than ever before. Over 250 million children are at risk of impaired development due to the impacts of poverty, poor nutrition, and inadequate learning — threatening children’s ability to thrive and countries’ future success. The bipartisan and bicameral Global Child Thrive Act directs the U.S. Agency for International Development to implement early childhood development programs for children marginalized by poverty and conflict. It’s a robust measure to elevate, educate, and empower vulnerable children around the world,” said Congressman Castro. “I appreciate the leadership of Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, who co-wrote this important legislation, and thank Senators Roy Blunt of Missouri and Chris Coons of Delaware for partnering with the House on this bill. This successful effort would also not have been possible without the NGOs who championed this legislation, particularly the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops and Catholic Relief Services.”

“I am thrilled to see our bipartisan and bicameral Global Child Thrive Act in this year's NDAA. One of my greatest concerns has always been the welfare of children, not just children in the United States but children across the globe,” said Congressman Fitzpatrick. “I would like to thank Rep. Castro, Sen. Coons, and Sen. Blunt for their partnership on getting our legislation over the finish line. It is of the utmost importance that we help other countries help their children. As we all know, focusing on children is focusing on our future.”

“We are grateful to Rep. Castro for leading the way toward a better future for the world's most vulnerable children,” said Bill O’Keefe, Executive Vice President for Mission, Mobilization and Advocacy, Catholic Relief Services. “The Global Child Thrive Act's passage will be a game-changer for vulnerable children and their families, allowing them to build resilience to the dangerous secondary impacts of COVID-19 and countless other unforeseeable challenges. Ultimately, these are the types of investments that will have long-term implications for our collective efforts to alleviate global poverty."