USAID — the United States Agency for International Development —aims to “advance a free, peaceful, and prosperous world” on behalf of the American people. Their goal, like World Vision, is to help countries progress beyond the need for assistance.

As the seventh largest implementing partner of USAID programs, World Vision works closely with USAID around the world to help families — and countries — lift themselves out of poverty. One key area we work together is child and maternal health.

Why the focus on child and maternal health?

Mothers and children play a huge role in families, communities, and economies. When a mother dies in childbirth, her baby has only a 19 percent chance of surviving their first month. Healthier women mean healthier families and a better chance for that family to lift itself out of poverty. And simple interventions for child and maternal health can be hugely effective:

  • Interventions during childbirth and immediate newborn care can reduce newborn deaths by up to 51 percent
  • Diarrhea is a leading cause of death for children under 5, but an at-home treatment costs less than $0.50
  • In the past ten years, USAID’s efforts have helped save the lives of more than 5 million children and 200,000 women

“By helping keep women and children healthy, USAID is supporting countries on their pathway to self-reliance.”

moms and babies at clinic
Hena Begum, 21, holds her son Ibrahim Khan, 6 months. She came to the Chunkuri Community Clinic for nutrition classes and to have her baby’s health status checked. (©2019 World Vision/photo by Jon Warren)

2019 Acting on the Call Report

Since 2014, USAID has been focusing on refining its strategy to prevent child and maternal deaths in 25 priority countries. Together, those 25 countries account for more than two-thirds of child and maternal deaths around the world.

In their annual Acting on the Call reports, USAID outlines their approach to save the lives of women and children. A key part of their strategy is to support governments in planning, running, and funding their own health systems — ensuring sustainability. Since 2012, governments in more than half of USAID’s priority countries have increased their budgets for health.

USAID is working with World Vision and other partners to reach the global target to reduce child mortality to 25 per 1,000 lives birth and maternal morality to 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030.

USAID has also set a bold goal to save the lives of 15 million children and 600,000 women between 2012 and 2020.

Here is some of their progress so far:

Photo source:

The 2019 report, Acting on the Call 2019: A Focus on the Journey to Self-Reliance for Preventing Child and Maternal Deaths, focuses on how to improve the sustainability of health services by making them more accessible, affordable, reliable, and accountable.

Below, check out (just a few!) examples of how USAID and World Vision are working together to help moms and babies improve their health in Bangladesh.

ACT NOW: Support programs that help families lift themselves out of poverty.

Foreign assistance supports programs, like those implemented by USAID and World Vision, that empower women, promote health and nutrition, and help communities lift themselves out of poverty. All this for about 1 percent of the total U.S. budget! Your voice helps these programs continue for families all over the world!

All photos: ©2019 World Vision/by Jon Warren

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