The children

Early years

Primary school years



Early years

UNICEF Uzbekistan / Child's View / 2010
© UNICEF Uzbekistan / Child's View / 2010
Parents in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, with their newborn baby.

 Most of the countries in the region are overall on track to meet the Millennium Development Goal 4 to reduce their 1990 under-five mortality rate by two thirds by the year 2015.

Disparities exist between countries, within countries, between geographic areas and population groups. For each child that dies, many more live on with permanent physical or mental disability. These deaths and illnesses could be prevented if parents had the right information, skills and services to help them care for their children.

  • The under 5 mortality rate in many countries is over 50 to 100 percent higher in the poorest families compared to the richest. In Roma communities, child mortality is two or three times higher than national averages.
  • Pre-school education ranges from 10 to 64 per cent in the region. Gains made in the past decade are mainly benefitting richer families.
  • At least 10 percent of children in the region are disabled, often caused by poor care and nutrition in the early years.

  • Only 14 percent of infants exclusively breastfed for six months - the lowest rate in the world.

  • Despite progress on immunisation, many children are still not vaccinated and suffer from preventable diseases. The 2010 outbreak of polio cases in Tajikistan - the largest number in the world in recent years - led to four rounds of national vaccination campaigns reaching three million children under 15 years of age. More needs to be done to boost routine immunization.

  • More babies are being born to HIV positive mothers and a growing number of infants live in institutions.

  • If Russia and Ukraine, which have the largest number of children in the region, do not enact legislation to ensure sustainable universal salt iodization, the regional average of households using adequately iodized salt will stagnate at 60 percent. At least 2.6 million babies are born every year in household not using iodized salt and are at risk of iodine deficiency, according to a recent study on ten years of experience across the region, Universal Salt Iodization in CEE CIS .

All data are from the State of the World`s Children 2011 unless noted.

Updated 1 March, 2011




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