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Fact of the week



9.7 million: The number of children who died before their fifth birthday in 2006

Millennium Development Goal 4: Reduce child mortality

Target: Reduce by two thirds the mortality rate among children under five

In 2006, for the first time since records have been kept, the number of children dying before their fifth birthday fell below 10 million, to 9.7 million. This milestone follows a long-term decline in the global under-five mortality rate since 1960.

However, many countries still have high levels of child mortality, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, and in recent years have made little or no progress in reducing the number of child deaths. Global progress is insufficient to achieve
MDG 4.

The benefits of reaching MDG 4 are enormous. If the goal is achieved, the deaths of 5.4 million children under five will be averted in the year 2015 alone (as compared to the situation in 2006). But if current trends continue and the goal is not achieved, an additional 4.3 million child deaths could occur in 2015 alone.

Source: UNICEF, Progress For Children: A Child Survival Report Card, November 6, 2007.



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