Young Child Survival and Development

The first years in life are a critical time in which children develop the foundations of their physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills

Newborn child
UNICEF/Geo-2015/Khetaguri

Programme Overview

Early Childhood is the period of the most rapid development in human life-cycle as well as a unique window of opportunity. The first years in life are a critical time in which children develop the foundations of their physical, cognitive, social and emotional skills and well-being. Both positive and negative early experiences have very strong impact on young child development, learning, behaviour and health throughout the life-course.

A holistic approach to child development means providing healthcare, proper nutrition, protection from violence and early learning and stimulation of children to ensure that children can thrive, develop and learn at their fullest potential.

Georgia’s Government has recognized that deprivation during early years of childhood can cause life-long damage to the mind and body resulting in negative consequences in a country’s human capital and economic development.  Despite the Government’s effort to strengthen child survival and develop integrated early childhood services, there are still no sufficient coordination, continuity, synergies, and referral systems in the provision of health, education, protection and other social services for young children.

We work with the Government to support children, especially the most disadvantaged, during their early years and their families to ensure a conducive, nurturing environment for children to survive, thrive and reach their full potential in school and later in life. Translating holistic young child development into programming across the life cycle requires to link efforts across nutrition, health, protection (shock, violence, disability), and education (early stimulation and pre-school). We support the Government to establish comprehensive, cross-sectoral early childhood development (ECD) services for healthy child growth, development and protection.

Mother and child health programme

Georgia has reached its Millennium Development Goal for under-five child mortality; however, the infant mortality rate remains high and still amounts to twice the EU average. Significant numbers of pregnant women and children in Georgia still suffer from anemia, stunting and other micronutrient deficiencies. 

Read more on how UNICEF is addressing this challenge through the Mother and Child Health Programme.

Explore our other programmes

See the breadth of UNICEF's work in Georgia here.