Unicef Logo and the text: Children Under Threat. The State of The World's Children 2005.

Threats to Childhood
Countries reducing their under-five mortality rate by an average annual rate of less than 1% Poverty

GNI per capita (US$) 2003
Major armed conflict at some time during 1990–2003 HIV/AIDS Adult (15–49 years) prevalence rate 2003
1 Afghanistan250†no data
2 Angola 740 3.9
3 Azerbaijan 810 <0.1
4 Belarus 1590  no data
5 Botswana 3430  37.3
6 Bulgaria 2130  <0.1
7 Burkina Faso 300   4.2
8 Burundi 100 6.0
9 Cambodia 310 2.6
10 Cameroon 640   6.9
11 Central African Rep. 260   13.5
12  Chad 250 4.8
13 Congo 640 4.9
14  Congo, Dem. Rep. 100 4.2
15  Côte d’Ivoire 660   7.0
16  Gabon 3580*   8.1
17  Georgia 830* 0.1
18  Iraq 2170† <0.1
19 Jamaica 2760*   1.2
20  Kazakhstan 1780   0.2
21  Kenya 390   6.7
22  Korea, Dem. People’s Rep. of 765   no data
23  Latvia 4070   0.6
24  Liberia 130 5.9
25  Mauritania 430   0.6
26  Nigeria 320   5.4
27  Papua New Guinea 510   0.6
28  Russian Federation 2610*   1.1
29  Rwanda 220 5.1
30  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 3300   no data
31  Sao Tome and Principe 320   no data
32  Senegal 550   0.8
33  Sierra Leone 150 no data
34  Somalia 130† no data
35  South Africa 2780   21.5
36  Swaziland 1350   38.8
37  Tajikistan 190 <0.1
38  Tanzania, United Rep. of 290   8.8
39  Togo 310   4.1
40  Turkmenistan 1120*   <0.1
41  Tuvalu no data   no data
42  Ukraine 970*   1.4
43  Uzbekistan 420   0.1
44  Zambia 380   16.5
45  Zimbabwe 480†  24.6
Progress towards MDG 4



Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4) calls on countries to reduce by two thirds, between 1990 and 2015, the under-five mortality rate.

Of the 98 countries that are ‘off track’ to meet the goal, 45 are ‘seriously off track’: reducing their under-five mortality rate by an average annual rate of less than 1%. The vast majority of these suffer from one or more of the three major threats to childhood: high rates of poverty, conflict or HIV/AIDS.

MDG 4: The goal implies a 4.4% target average annual rate of reduction.

Threats to childhood for the purposes of this map:

Poverty – $765 or less GNI per capita in 2003, or stagnant or negative GDP per capita average annual growth rate, 1990–2003.

Conflict – Major armed conflict at some time during 1990–2003. Note: Data from SIPRI/Uppsala Conflict Data Project except for the Russian Federation. The United Nations has stated that the situation in the Republic of Chechnya is not an armed conflict within the meaning of the Geneva Conventions and the Additional Protocols thereto (ref: United Nations General Assembly/Security Council Corrigendum A/58/546/Corr.2-S/2003/1053/Corr.2).

HIV/AIDS – Adult (15–49 years) prevalence rate over 5%, 2003.


Data from left chart shown in blue meet the definitions of ‘Threats to childhood’.

†Indicates data that refer to years or periods other than those specified in the column heading, differ from the standard definition or refer to only part of a country.

* Included in poverty column because of stagnant or negative GDP per capita average annual growth rate, 1990–2003. Gabon: –0.2; Georgia: –2.7; Jamaica: 0.0; Russian Federation: –1.5; Turkmenistan: –1.3; Ukraine: –4.7.

Source: For conflict data: Adapted from SIPRI/Uppsala Co Data Project.


This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.

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Copyright © UNICEF, 2004


UNICEF’s work on early childhood development [Web]

Beyond Child Labour, Affirming Rights [PDF]

Profiting from abuse [PDF]

Children in jeopardy [PDF]

Finance development: Invest in children [PDF]

Poverty reduction begins with children [PDF]

Poverty and Children: Lessons of the 90s for Least Developed Countries [PDF]


“I think it's wonderful that people are realizing the pain of child labour... children should know what it feels like to be children... it is definitely not right to push them so far ahead and fill in the shoes of adults...”.
girl, 21, Malaysia

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Number of infants vaccinated each year: 100 million.

Number of lives that could be saved each year through routine immunization: 2.2 million
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