WASHINGTON (Feb. 26, 2018) – A bipartisan delegation of Congressional staffers traveled to Zambia with CARE to see how U.S. investments and partnerships are saving lives and improving the health of women, their families and their communities. The delegation included staffers from Alaska, Illinois, Indiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington state, as well as the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee. The group was also joined by representatives from the Congressional Research Service (CRS) and Foreign Affairs Magazine.
Zambia, a landlocked country in Southern Africa, has experienced years of unprecedented economic growth and recently reached lower-middle income status. However, in 2015, the country failed to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for maternal health, and today, maternal mortality and morbidity rates in Zambia remain incredibly high. Additionally, 4 in every 5 children are too short for their age, a symptom of chronic malnutrition and poor diet diversity. The rate of HIV has also remained high (12.4 percent), and there is still tremendous need for additional outreach to vulnerable populations, including young women and adolescents.
On this five-day trip, the delegation saw firsthand the role that U.S. investments and partnerships play in empowering women and girls to lift themselves out of poverty and be catalysts for change in their families and communities. The highlight of the trip included field visits in Lusaka, Kalomo, Choma and Livingstone, where the delegation sat down with women and girls in their communities to see how U.S. investments are transforming their lives and leading to improved health outcomes, the prevention of early marriage, better nutrition and expanded economic opportunities.
Through these program visits and meetings with change-makers, representatives from non-government organizations (NGOs), technical experts and the U.S. mission, the delegation gained a greater understanding of the positive impact U.S. investments – including lifesaving funding provided by the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) – have on improving maternal and child health and preventing HIV/AIDS in Zambia.
Participants in CARE’s February 2018 Learning Tour to Zambia included:
- Nicholas Cook – Specialist in African Affairs, Congressional Research Service
- Anna Dietderich – Legislative Correspondent, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)
- Michelle Greenhalgh – Legislative Assistant, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
- Mia R. Keeys – Health Policy Advisor, Rep. Robin L. Kelly (D-IL-02)
- Sophia Lalani – Legislative Assistant, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ)
- Liz Leibowitz – Legislative Assistant, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY-17)
- Alasdair Phillips-Robins – Staff Editor, Foreign Affairs Magazine
- Catherine Rowland – Professional Staff Member, House Foreign Affairs Committee, Minority Staff, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-16)
- Laurel Sakai – Professional Staff Member, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Minority Staff, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA)
- Mimi Strobel – Legislative Assistant, Rep. Susan Brooks (R-IN-05)
- Laura Updegrove – Foreign Policy Advisor, Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
- Andrew Vogt – Health Professional Staff Member, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Majority Staff, Sen. Lamar Alexander, (R-TN)
For more information on CARE’s Learning Tours, please visit: www.care.org/LearningTours. The CARE Learning Tours program is funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside poor girls and women because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. Last year, CARE worked in 94 countries and reached more than 80 million people around the world. To learn more, please visit www.care.org.
Nicole Ellis, +1-202-595-2828, email@example.com