Almost two thirds of the 21 countries in the region of Middle East and North Africa were on schedule to meet MDG 4 as of 2002. The five North African countries (Algeria, Egypt, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Morocco and Tunisia) have demonstrated significant reductions in under-five mortality in the 1990s, averaging an annual reduction rate of 6.6 per cent.
Each has made substantial progress in providing services to the population to
- reduce the levels of malnutrition to below 10%
- increase the coverage of water and sanitation to above 80%
- increase the immunization coverage to 90% of children with 3 doses of DPT and more than 80% of children vaccinated against measles
- provide antenatal care during pregnancy and skilled attendants at delivery
Of the eight countries falling behind, three – Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon – have an under-five mortality rate of less than 1 child in 30, compared with the regional average of 1 child in 17. By contrast, the reductions in Sudan and Yemen are less than 2.5 per cent.
1 in 10
In three countries of the region – Djibouti, Iraq and Yemen – 1 in every 10 children dies before the age of five. All three, especially Iraq, will need to increase their efforts markedly to meet MDG 4.
|Country||U5MR 1990||U5MR 2002||MDG target(a) 2015||Progress(b) 1990-2002||Requirement 2002-2015|
|Syrian Arab Republic||44||28||15||3.8||5.0|
|United Arab Emirates||14||9||5||3.7||5.0|
|Occupied Palestinian Territory||40||25||13||3.9||4.9|
|Iran (Islamic Republic of)||72||42||24||4.5||4.3|
|Libyan Arab Jamahiriya||42||19||14||6.6||2.3|
Countries whose AARR has matched or exceeded the implied MDG target in 1990-2002 are shown as shaded.
Millennium Development Goal 4 set each country the task of reducing the under-five child mortality rate by two thirds between 1990 and 2015.
The speed of progress in reducing the U5MR is measured here by calculating the average annual reduction rate (AARR). Unlike the comparison of absolute changes, the AARR reflects the fact that the lower limits to U5MR are approached only with increasing difficulty. The AARR is calculated on an exponential basis, which assumes a continuous, exponential reduction between two points in time. It does not take into account the intermediate values of the series. To achieve a two-thirds reduction between 1990 and 2015 requires a progress rate of 4.4 per cent or higher.