<< Back To Home


Monday, 17th of September 2012 Print

The text is worth exploring. You can word search the text for data from your country of assignment.

Excerpts below; full text,



Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0697/Markisz


The story of child survival over the past two decades is one of significant progress and unfinished business.


There is much to celebrate. More chil­dren now survive their fifth birthday than ever before ― the global number of under-five deaths has fallen from around 12 mil­lion in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011. All regions have shown steady reduc­tions in under-five mortality over the past two decades. In the last decade alone, prog­ress on reducing child deaths has acceler­ated, with the annual rate of decline in the global under-five mortality rate rising from 1.8% in 1990-2000 to 3.2% in 2000-2011.


The gains have been broad, with marked falls in diverse coun­tries. Between 1990 and 2011, nine low-income countries — Ban­gladesh, Cambodia, Ethiopia, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Ne­pal, Niger and Rwanda — reduced their under-five mortality rate by 60% or more. Nineteen middle-income countries, among them Brazil, China, Mexico and Turkey, and 10 high-income countries, including Estonia, Oman, Portugal and Saudi Arabia, are also making great progress, reducing under-five mortality by two-thirds or more over the same period.


Our advances to date stem directly from the collective com­mitment, energy and efforts of governments, donors, non-gov­ernmental organizations, UN agencies, scientists, practitioners, communities, families and individuals. Measles deaths have plummeted. Polio, though stubbornly resistant thus far to elimina­tion, has fallen to historically low levels. Routine immunization has increased almost everywhere. Among the most striking advances has been the progress in combatting AIDS. Thanks to the applica­tion of new treatments, better prevention and sustained funding, rates of new HIV infections ― and HIV-associated deaths among children ― have fallen substantially.


But any satisfaction at these gains is tempered by the unfinished business that remains. The fact remains that, on average, around 19,000 children still die every day from largely preventable causes. With necessary vaccines, adequate nutrition and basic medical and maternal care, most of these young lives could be saved.


Nor can we evade the great divides and disparities that per­sist among regions and within countries. The economically poor­est regions, least developed countries, most fragile nations, and most disadvantaged and marginalized populations continue to bear the heaviest burden of child deaths. More than four-fifths of all under-five deaths in 2011 occurred in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Given the prospect that these regions, especially sub-Saharan Africa, will account for the bulk of the world’s births in the next years, we must give new impetus to the global momentum to reduce under-five deaths.

This is the potential of Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, a global effort to accelerate action on maternal, newborn and child survival. In June 2012, the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States ― together with UNICEF ― brought together more than 700 partners from the public, private and civil society sectors for the Child Survival Call to Action. What emerged from the Call to Action was a rejuvenated global movement for child survival, with partners pledging to work together across technical sectors with greater focus, energy and determination. Since June, more than 110 governments have signed a pledge vowing to redouble efforts to ac­celerate declines in child mortality; 174 civil society organizations, 91 faith-based organizations, and 290 faith leaders from 52 countries have signed their own pledges of support.

Under the banner of A Promise Renewed, a potent global movement, led by governments, is mobilizing to scale up action on three fronts: sharpening evidence-based country plans and setting measurable benchmarks; strengthening accountability for maternal, newborn and child survival; and mobilizing broad-based social support for the principle that no child should die from pre­ventable causes. Concerted action in these three areas will hasten declines in child and maternal mortality, enabling more countries to achieve MDGs 4 and 5 by 2015 and sustain the momentum well into the future.

As the message of this report makes clear, countries can achieve rapid declines in child mortality, with determined action by governments and supportive partners. Our progress over the last two decades has taught us that sound strategies, adequate resources and, above all, political will, can make a critical differ­ence to the lives of millions of young children.


By pledging to work together to support the goals of A Promise Renewed, we can fulfill the promise the world made to children in MDGs 4 and 5: to give every child the best possible start in life. Join us. 5


To advance Every Woman Every Child, a strategy launched by Unit­ed Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UNICEF and other UN organizations are joining partners from the public, private and civil society sectors in a global movement to accelerate reductions in preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths.

The Child Survival Call to Action was convened in June 2012 by the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States, togeth­er with UNICEF, to examine ways to spur progress on child survival. A modelling exercise presented at this event demonstrated that all countries can lower child mortality rates to 20 or fewer deaths per 1,000 live births by 2035 – an important milestone towards the ultimate aim of ending preventable child deaths.

Partners emerged from the Call to Action with a revitalized commitment to child survival under the banner of A Promise Re­newed. Since June, more than 100 governments and many civil society and private sector organizations have signed a pledge to redouble their efforts, and many more are expected to follow suit in the days and months to come. This global movement will focus on learning from and building on the many successes made in reducing child deaths in numerous countries over the past two decades. More details on A Promise Renewed are available at .




To meet the goals of A Promise Renewed, our efforts must focus on scaling up essential interventions through the following three priority actions:


Evidence-based country plans: Governments will lead the effort by setting and sharpening their national action plans, assigning costs to strategies and monitoring five-year milestones. Develop­ment partners can support the national targets by pledging to align their assistance with government-led action plans. Private-sector partners can spur innovation and identify new resources for child survival. And, through action and advocacy, civil society can support the communities and families whose decisions pro­foundly influence prospects for maternal and child survival.


Transparency and mutual accountability: Governments and partners will work together to report progress and to promote ac­countability for the global commitments made on behalf of chil­dren. UNICEF and partners will collect and disseminate data on each country’s progress. A global monitoring template, based on the indicators developed by the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women’s and Children’s Health, has been developed for countries to adapt to their own priorities. National governments and local partners are encouraged to take the lead in applying the template to national monitoring efforts.


Global communication and social mobilization: Governments and partners will mobilize broad-based social and political sup­port for the goal of ending preventable child deaths. As part of this effort, the search for small-scale innovations that demon­strate strong potential for large-scale results will be intensified. Once identified, local innovations will be tested, made public, and taken to scale. By harnessing the power of mobile technology, civil society and the private sector can encourage private citizens, es­pecially women and young people, to participate in the search for innovative approaches to maternal and child survival.




In support of A Promise Renewed, UNICEF is publishing yearly re­ports on child survival to stimulate public dialogue and help sus­tain political commitment. This year’s report, released in conjunc­tion with the annual review of the child mortality estimates of the UN Inter-Agency Group on Mortality Estimation, presents:


• Trends and levels in under-five mortality over the past two decades.

• Causes of and interventions against child deaths.

• Brief examples of countries that have made radical reduc­tions in child deaths over the past two decades.

• A summary of the strategies for meeting the goals of A Prom­ised Renewed.

• Statistical tables of child mortality and causes of under-five deaths by country and UNICEF regional classification.


The analysis presented in this report provides a strong case for proceeding with optimism. The necessary interventions and know-how are available to drastically reduce child deaths in the next two decades. The time has come to recommit to child survival and renew the promise.