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News Notes

New Poll Released Today Shows Americans Feel US Needs to Do More for World's Children;
US Coalition for Child Survival Calls
for Increases in US Funding

DATELINE: WASHINGTON, Sept. 7


A national survey conducted for the US Coalition for Child Survival finds that Americans believe that fighting threats to child survival should be a top international aid priority and part of President Bush's compassionate conservatism agenda. The survey also shows that the US commitment to international child survival is falling short. Survey respondents indicate that the US currently spends too little on international child survival efforts, and grades the US a "C" or below on child survival.
The results of the survey were announced today during a press briefing at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. It was held by the US Coalition for Child Survival in anticipation of the upcoming United Nations Special Session on Children to be held in New York on September 19-21, 2001. The Session will focus on the health and welfare of the world's children, marking a decade since the 1990 World Summit for Children when world leaders gathered to state goals that would benefit the world's children.
"This research has proven once again the high value that Americans place on the lives of the world's children," said Dr. Nils Daulaire, president and CEO of the Global Health Council. "Across party lines, Americans recognize the importance of US attention to the issues related to children's health and support an increased commitment to this cause. These findings paint a very clear picture of our national priorities; we know that Congress and the Administration will be paying attention." Key findings from the survey:

* Three out of four respondents (75 percent) indicate that child survival is a very important problem facing the world today. Concern for child survival cuts across political party lines -- majorities of Republicans (62 percent), Democrats (84 percent) and Independents (77 percent) agree
about the importance of these issues.
* About 6 in 10 respondents (58 percent) indicate that child survival should be a very important international aid priority. When you add in the somewhat important responses, the number increases to 9 in 10 (91 percent) who indicate that child survival should be an important international aid priority. Majorities of Republicans (86 percent), Democrats (96 percent), and Independents (91 percent) agree that child
survival should be a very or somewhat important international aid priority.


* More than 6 in 10 (62 percent) of the respondents give US child survival
efforts a "C" grade or below. In the spirit of the back-to-school season, respondents were asked to grade US efforts to fight threats to child survival in the world's poorest countries. In response, more than 6 in 10 (62 percent) give the US a "C" or below. Only one-third of respondents (32 percent) give the US an above average grade for its international child survival efforts. Majorities of Republicans (57 percent), Democrats (69 percent) and Independents (61 percent) agree on this issue and grade US efforts as a "C" or worse.

* A majority (57 percent) believes the US gives too little when it comes
to the share of the federal budget that goes to international child
survival efforts. When informed that the US gives less than .1 percent
of the federal budget to fight threats to child survival in the world's
poorest countries, a majority of respondents (57 percent) indicate this
amount is "too little," while slightly less than one-third (29 percent)
say this is the "right amount." Only a handful (4 percent) believe this
amount is "too much." A plurality of Republicans (42 percent), and
majorities of Democrats (70 percent) and Independents (59) indicate that
the .1 percent is "too little."

* Finally, three out of four respondents (75 percent) indicate that
fighting threats to international child survival should be part of
President Bush's compassionate conservative agenda. This opinion is
shared across party lines, with strong majorities of Republicans
(69 percent), Democrats (81 percent), and Independents (77 percent)
agreeing that child survival should be part of the President's
compassionate conservative agenda.

According to Dr. Daulaire, infant mortality has declined and polio has nearly been eradicated, however there are still 10 million children under the age of five who die each year from conditions that some Americans do not think of as fatal -- diseases like diarrhea and pneumonia. Almost a fourth of the world's children are not immunized against six common childhood diseases and over half of the children are still deficient in vitamin A.

During the course of the press briefing, Mary Beth Powers, maternal health advisor for Save the Children called on the Bush Administration to pay heed to the poll findings and support a greater financial commitment on the part of the United States. "We cannot achieve global health targets unless we dramatically increase our commitment. It is essential that we build on the progress made since the World Summit on Children," she said. "We are calling on the Administration to announce an increase of $200 million dollars into the US budget over the next two years to support public private partnerships that will improve on the progress that has been made over the past decade."

Dr. Daulaire strongly agreed. "While we have had some marked successes in child survival over the past decade," he noted, "we still needlessly lose 10 million children every year to diseases we know how to treat and prevent. There is an enormous unfinished agenda and a great deal left to do. Delegates to the UN Special Session on Children must work to make health a basic human right for all children, for other human rights become meaningless unless we first guarantee children their right to live."
The national telephone survey included 1,010 respondents age 18 and over and was conducted by International Communications Research from August 22-26, 2001. Lake Snell Perry & Associates developed the questionnaire and analyzed the results.

The US Coalition for Child Survival is a collaboration of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the survival and healthy development of the world's children. The Coalition seeks increased public and private funding for child survival, shares best practices between organizations in the field, and coordinates efforts to eliminate and eradicate diseases that kill children. In support of this mission, the Coalition brings together organizations from across every US sector with an interest in child survival, including: foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academic and research institutions, government agencies, and corporations. For more information about the U.S. Coalition for Child Survival visit www.child-survival.org .

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http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X04925237

SOURCE The US Coalition for Child Survival

Copyright 2001 PR Newswire Association, Inc.
PR Newswire
September 7, 2001, Friday 8:01 AM Eastern Time
SECTION: DOMESTIC NEWS DISTRIBUTION: TO POLITICAL, FOREIGN AND FAMILY EDITORS

LENGTH: 1239 words