I am writing to echo the concerns raised by many Canadians regarding the lack of new investments for programs that support children, adolescents, and women around the world in the 2023 federal budget. The absence of such investments is a clear indication that Canada is stepping back from its global leadership role, which is simply unacceptable. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to the largest continued backslide in vaccinations for other infectious diseases in three decades, with 25 million children un- or under-vaccinated, six million more than in 2019. Moreover, this is happening against an unprecedented global hunger crisis, with up to 60 million children under five years of age projected to be acutely malnourished by the end of 2022. In emergency contexts, children under five are the most vulnerable, with illness and death rates 20 times higher than standard level. Therefore, it is crucial that we invest in children's health, nutrition, education, and development, as these early investments accumulate throughout a child's lifetime, benefiting their children and society as a whole. Moreover, investments in children are among the most cost-effective that governments can make, with each US$1 spent on health yielding a US$20 benefit for lower-middle-income countries. It is especially disappointing that the Budget 2023 has no new investments in such programs, given Canada’s historic track record of leading the charge in protecting children's rights. From the Muskoka Initiative launched in 2010 to the recent $1.2-billion pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, Canada has demonstrated a commitment to child survival. By building on its historic track record, Canada can lead the way once again and achieve the central ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to 'leave no one behind.' Vanessa Liang Montreal, Que.