Nearly 7 million children will die this year before they reach their 5th birthday.
That number is almost equivalent to the entire population of New York City. And, even more
disturbing, most of these children will die from preventable causes.
We have the tools, we have the knowledge, and we must match them with our unshakeable
commitment to save millions of lives.
- UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake
At the same time, as a global community, we have made staggering progress in the
reduction of child mortality. Over the last 50 years, child mortality has been reduced
by 70%. This result is largely due to high-impact tools and
interventions for child survival, notably new vaccines and more community
However, we must not let this progress hide the reality that nearly 7 million
children are at risk every year. In rich and poor countries alike, the poorest and
most disadvantaged children continue to miss out on lifesaving, affordable interventions.
The tremendous declines in child mortality in Rwanda, (over 50%), and the 28% decline
in both Tanzania and Ethiopia prove that these simple, cost-effective interventions
can save lives. Now is the time for every nation to build on this proven success.
All governments and citizens are responsible for the survival of their most vulnerable
children. Stakeholders in every country – from the government to civil society
to the faith community to the private sector – are responsible for the survival
of the world's children. Their existing commitments as well as future commitments
must be fulfilled.
Ending preventable child deaths is possible, if we all work together.