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More than 100 countries, including Ukraine, pledge to prioritize child survival

© UNICEF/UKRAINE/2010/G.Pirozzi

New York/Kyiv, 13 September 2012 – Countries across the world are making rapid progress in reducing child deaths, demonstrating that it is possible to radically reduce child mortality over the span of two decades, a UNICEF report says today.

The 2012 Progress Report on Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed examines trends in child mortality estimates since 1990, and shows that major reductions have been made in under-five mortality rates in all regions and diverse countries. This has translated into a sharp drop in the estimated number of under-five deaths worldwide. Data released today by UNICEF and the UN Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation show that the number of children under the age of five dying globally fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.

The report underscores that neither a country’s regional affiliation nor economic status need be a barrier to reducing child deaths. Low-income countries such as Bangladesh, Liberia and Rwanda, middle-income countries such as Brazil, Mongolia and Turkey, and high-income countries such as Oman and Portugal, have all made dramatic gains, lowering their under-five mortality rates by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2011.

“The global decline in under-five mortality is a significant success that is a testament to the work and dedication of many, including governments, donors, agencies and families,” said Anthony Lake, UNICEF Executive Director. “But there is also unfinished business: Millions of children under five are still dying each year from largely preventable causes for which there are proven, affordable interventions.”

According to the Report, under-five deaths are increasingly concentrated in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, which together accounted for more than 80 per cent of all under-five deaths in 2011.

Under the banner of A Promise Renewed, a movement for child survival is growing to re-energize, refocus and build on two decades of significant progress. The opportunity for further sharp reductions in preventable child deaths has never been greater.

Since June, more than half of the world’s governments, including Ukrainian, have signed up the Pledge and renewed their commitment to child survival. UNICEF Ukraine is actively advocating for child survival and better care for children along with the Ministry of Health. “We highly appreciate that the Ukrainian government has signed the Pledge and continues working on reducing child mortality. It will further promote achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 to save more children and mothers in Ukraine, – said UNICEF Deputy Representative in Ukraine Ruediger Luchmann. The work is challenging but we are proud of the Ukrainian government that sets high goals and strives to achieve them”.

Learn more about UNICEF Report here:

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About UNICEF: UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) is the world leader in protecting the rights and interests of children. The Fund operates in over 190 countries and territories to protect and support children from an early age through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF mission in Ukraine commenced in 1997. More info at: Join us on Facebook: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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For further information, please contact:
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF New York, Tel + 1 212 326 7206, Mobile: + 1 646 209 1590,
Veronika Vashchenko, UNICEF Kyiv, tel + 38 044 254 2450,




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