WASHINGTON, Dec. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Save the Children applauded Congressman Donald M. Payne, Jr. (NJ-10) for his leadership in championing greater protections for children in U.S. emergencies contained in the bipartisan passage of the State and High-Risk Urban Area Working Group Act (HR 4509).
The bill, which is part of the National Defense Authorization Act, now goes to President Obama for final approval.
Save the Children called Payne Jr.'s role "absolutely critical" in making sure the new authorization bill contains a key provision that will help ensure that the needs of children are considered when states apply for and administer federally supported emergency response grants.
Save the Children noted that Payne, Jr. serves as Ranking Member of the Committee on Homeland Security's Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications Subcommittee which drafted the child protection provision (HR 4509).
"In past years, for every $1,000 in federal emergency preparedness grants, less than one dollar has gone toward activities targeting children's safety," said Rich Bland, Save the Children's National Director for Policy, Advocacy and Development. "We believe that the root cause of this disparity is that there has been no voice for children at the state or local level demanding that emergency management officials dedicate funds to protect children in emergencies. This provision now ensures that children will have a representative speaking on their behalf on emergency working groups."
"We consider this action by Congress an important legislative victory, and we look forward to continue working with members of Congress and our key partners including the American Academy of Pediatrics, Trust for America's Health, Child Care Aware, and the American Red Cross to ensure that protecting children is always a priority in every emergency response."
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
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SOURCE Save the Children