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'Saving the Children'

December 24, 1987

In response to "Saving the Children," (Editorial, Dec. 10):

UNICEF's State of the World's Children report, reports that great strides have been made in saving children from malnutrition and infection, but a lot more needs to be done. UNICEF estimates that 38,000 young children are still dying each day, and at least half of those deaths are preventable.

Although I agree with The Times that the U.S. contribution to UNICEF should be larger, I think Congress deserves some credit for refusing to cut it. For several years now, the Administration has asked Congress for a smaller contribution than the year before. Congress has voted for modest increases instead.

In addition, Congress created the Child Survival Fund to carry out UNICEF-recommended programs by direct bilateral assistance grants to friendly nations. In 1986, the fund was doubled to $75 million, in a year when foreign aid was cut by more than $1 billion.

It takes considerable courage for a senator or representative to increase children's health programs in the face of enormous pressure to cut federal expenditures and to cut foreign assistance, in particular. These men and women deserve thanks and encouragement. They need to know that there is a constituency for saving lives of children.

ALAN W. GOLD

Cypress

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