The Progress of Nations: Foreword


The Progress of Nations 1996 records what is happening to the health, nutrition, and education of children today. It monitors not only specific advances and regression in some of the key areas of human well-being, but also the overall investment that countries are making in their own futures.

Many disturbing issues are dealt with in this 1996 edition, including exceptionally high rates of child malnutrition in some areas, and the dreadful toll taken on women's lives and health in countries that lack emergency care in childbirth.

But the facts and figures set out in these pages also tell a story of sustained progress in reducing child illnesses and child deaths, in slowly improving nutritional standards for most countries, and in the steady rise of the percentage of boys and girls who are enrolled in school.

These are causes to which the United Nations has long committed much time, effort, and resources. The world is therefore entitled to ask what results these efforts are producing.

The Progress of Nations 1996 provides the answers. Despite the disappointments endured and the problems that remain, this report shows clearly that advances are being made on many fronts by many nations. This annual account of human progress is a story that should be told, and which deserves to be heard.

Boutros Boutros-Ghali
United Nations

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