Kabul, Afghanistan, 1 January 2020 – An estimated 3,531 babies will be born in Afghanistan on New Year’s Day, UNICEF said today. Afghanistan’s babies will account for 0.9 per cent of the estimated 392,078 babies to be born on New Year’s Day.
“The beginning of a new year and a new decade is an opportunity to reflect on our hopes and aspirations not only for our future, but the future of those who will come after us,” said Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive Director. “As the calendar flips each January, we are reminded of all the possibility and potential of each child embarking on her or his life’s journey—if they are just given that chance.”
Fiji in the Pacific will most likely deliver 2020’s first baby. The United States, its last. Globally, over half of these births are estimated to take place in eight countries:
- India — 67,385
- China — 46,299
- Nigeria — 26,039
- Pakistan — 16,787
- Indonesia — 13,020
- The United States of America — 10,452
- The Democratic Republic of Congo — 10,247
- Ethiopia — 8,493
Each January, UNICEF celebrates babies born on New Year’s Day, an auspicious day for child birth around the world.
However, for millions of newborns around the world, the day of their birth is far less auspicious.
In 2018, 2.5 million newborns died in just their first month of life; about a third of them on the first day of life. Among those children, most died from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery, and infections like sepsis. In addition, more than 2.5 million babies are born dead each year.
“in Afghanistan, regrettably for every1000 babies born, 37 die within the first 28 days. this amounts to131 newborn deaths per day or6 newborn deaths per hour. This is alarming.” says Sheema Sen Gupta, Deputy Representative, UNICEF Afghanistan.
Reiterating UNICEF’s commitment to continue with resolve to help every newborn survive, “this New Year’s Day, let’s all make a resolution to fulfill every right of every child, starting with the right to survive. We can save millions of babies if we invest in training and equipping local health workers so that every newborn is born into a safe pair of hands.” Continued Sheema Sen Gupta.
Over the past three decades, the world has seen remarkable progress in child survival, cutting the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday by more than half. But there has been slower progress for newborns. Babies dying in the first month accounted for 47 per cent of all deaths among children under five in 2018, up from 40 per cent in 1990.
UNICEF’s Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment in health workers with the right training, who are equipped with the right medicines to ensure every mother and newborn is cared for by a safe pair of hands to prevent and treat complications during pregnancy, delivery and birth.
“Too many mothers and newborns are not being cared for by a trained and equipped midwife or nurse, and the results are devastating,” added Fore. “We can ensure that millions of babies survive their first day and live into this decade and beyond if every one of them is born into a safe pair of hands.”
Notes to Editors
For the data, UNICEF worked with the World Data Lab. The estimates for the number of babies born on 1 January 2020 draw on the latest revision of the UN’s World Population Prospects (2019). Building on these datasets, World Data Lab’s (WDL) algorithm projects estimates of the number of births for each day by country.
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UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Afghanistan, visit www.unicef.org/afghanistan.