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This may prove a good year for children around the world | READER COMMENTARY

Children dressed up in white at the Little Flowers Early Childhood & Development in 2015. They sang songs for the family members in the audience. File.
Children dressed up in white at the Little Flowers Early Childhood & Development in 2015. They sang songs for the family members in the audience. File. (Chiaki Kawajiri, Baltimore Sun)

Like oil and water, “good news” and “2020” just don’t seem to go together. With many of 2020′s headlines focused on COVID-19 surges and political strife, such as the recent article, “Maryland reports 50 coronavirus deaths, the most since May, as hospitalizations approach pandemic high” (Dec. 8), it was hard to imagine closing out the year with something to celebrate. Yet, in the final month of the year, there is some good news to share: Congress came together across division to prioritize the well-being of children around the world.

Thanks to the leadership of our Maryland U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen who were co-sponsors of the Global Child Thrive Act and to their many colleagues in the Senate as well as those in the U.S. House of Representatives, the measure was included as an amendment in the final National Defense Authorization Act which is expected to pass this session. This collaborative work across the aisle and across chambers will leave a lasting legacy for millions of children living in unjust situations around the world — those experiencing migration, hunger, poverty and who are disproportionately affected by COVID-19 — by integrating early childhood development activities into our U.S. foreign policy.

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Let’s make sure this “good news” leads to more sustainable outcomes by continuing to consider how we as Baltimore residents can be better global citizens and can encourage our elected officials to use U.S. policy to contribute toward a more just world.

Danielle Roberts, Baltimore

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The writer is a program officer with Catholic Relief Services.

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