Committing To Child Survival: Progress Report 2013

Main Messages

Despite rapid progress in reducing child deaths since 1990, the world is still failing to renew the promise of survival for its most vulnerable citizens:

  • Global progress in reducing child deaths since 1990 has been very significant. The global rate of under-five mortality has roughly halved, from 90 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 48 per 1,000 in 2012. The estimated annual number of under-five deaths has fallen from 12.6 million to 6.6 million over the same period
  • Put another way, 17,000 fewer children die each day in 2012 than did in 1990 — thanks to more effective and affordable treatments, innovative ways of delivering critical interventions to the poor and excluded, and sustained political commitment. These and other vital child survival interventions have helped to save an estimated 90 million lives in the past 22 years
  • Encouragingly, the world is currently reducing under-five deaths faster than at any other time during the past two decades. The global annual rate of reduction has steadily accelerated since 1990-1995, when it stood at 1.2%, more than tripling to 3.9% in 2005-2012. Both sub-Saharan African regions — particularly Eastern and Southern Africa but also West and Central Africa — have seen a consistent acceleration in reducing under-five deaths, particularly since 2000. And all regions with the exception of West and Central Africa and sub-Saharan Africa as a whole have at least halved their rates of under-five mortality since 1990
  • Despite these gains, child survival remains an urgent concern. In 2012, around 6.6 million children died before their fifth birthday, at a rate of around 18,000 per day. And the risk of dying before age 5 varies enormously depending on where a child is born. In Luxembourg, the under-five mortality rate is just 2 deaths per 1,000 live births; in Sierra Leone, it is 182 per 1,000
  • Since 1990, 216 million children have died before their fifth birthday — more than the current total population of Brazil, the world’s fifth most populous country
  • Without faster progress on reducing preventable diseases, the world will not meet its child survival goal (MDG 4) until 2028 — 13 years after the deadline — and 35 million children will die between 2015 and 2028 who would otherwise have lived had we met the goal on time

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