New York / Geneva, 13 September 2012: Accelerating progress on child survival since 2000, UN says
NEW YORK /GENEVA, 13 September 2012 – The pace of reducing child deaths has accelerated sharply since 2000, according to new data released today by UNICEF, the World Health Organization, the World Bank and the UN Population Division.
And progress is accelerating: Between 2000 and 2011, the annual rate of reduction in the global under-five mortality rate jumped to 3.2 percent, up from 1.8 percent in 1990-2000. Sub-Saharan Africa, the region with the greatest challenge in child survival, has doubled its rate of reduction, from 1.5 percent per year in 1990-2010 to 3.1 percent in 2000-2011.
An estimated 19,000 children still died every day in 2011, and around 40 percent in the first month of life, most from preventable causes. And the gains in child survival, although significant, are still insufficient to achieve Millennium Development Goal 4 of reducing the global under-five mortality rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Only six of the world’s 10 regions are on track to reach the target. Proven solutions need to be expanded to accelerate progress on child survival faster and farther.
Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed is a global movement to accelerate action on maternal, newborn and child survival and build on progress since 1990. More than 100 governments have since June renewed their commitment to child survival.
Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia face the greatest challenges in child survival, and currently account for more than 80 percent of global under-five deaths. Their disparity with other regions is becoming more marked as regions such as Eastern Asia and Northern Africa have cut child deaths by more than two thirds since 1990.
Half of all under-five deaths occurred in five countries: India (24 percent), Nigeria (11 percent), Democratic Republic of the Congo (7 percent), Pakistan (5 percent) and China (4 percent). India and Nigeria account for more than a third of all under-five deaths worldwide.
Globally, the leading causes of death among children under five are pneumonia (18 percent of all under-five deaths), preterm birth complications (14 percent), diarrhoea (11 percent), complications during birth (9 percent) and malaria (7 percent).
The UN-IGME 2012 report calls for systematic action to reduce neonatal mortality as the proportion of under-five deaths during the neonatal period is rising in every region and almost all countries. Highly cost-effective interventions are feasible even at the community level. Accelerating the reduction in under-five mortality is possible by expanding preventative and curative interventions that target the main causes of post-neonatal deaths and the most vulnerable children.
About UN- IGME
The 2012 child mortality report has the latest IGME estimates of child mortality at the country, regional and global levels. For more information visit: www.childmortality.org
For more information, please contact:
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF Spokesperson, Tel + 1 212 326 7206, Mobile: + 1 646 209 1590,
Fadéla Chaib, WHO Communications officer and spokesperson, Tel: +41 22 791 3228, Mobile: +41 79 475 5556
Child survival: A promise renewed
MDGs progress summary [PDF]
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