More children across the world survive their fifth birthday now than ever before, according to a new UNICEF report released on 13 September.

The total estimated number of under-five deaths fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011.

The new figures show that it's possible to radically reduce child deaths by affordable ways including vaccines, basic health care, and education.

Low-income countries like Bangladesh, Liberia and Rwanda are among the countries that have all made dramatic gains, lowering their under-five mortality rates by more than two-thirds between 1990 and 2011.

The figures also show that considerable progress has been achieved in tackling some major childhood diseases, including measles, pneumoniadiarrhoea and malaria.

But despite significant advances, almost 19,000 children under the age of five died every day in 2011. Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia together accounted for more than 80 per cent of all deaths. In Sub-Saharan Africa, on average, one child in nine dies before the age of five.

"The world has made huge strides in reducing child deaths, even in some of the world's poorest countries like Liberia, through the hard work and dedication of governments, donors, agencies and individuals," said David Bull, Executive Director of UNICEF UK.

"These remarkable achievements would not have been possible without international aid, and highlights how important it is for that investment to continue."

More children across the world survive their fifth birthday now than ever before, according to a new UNICEF report released on 13 September.   © UNICEF 2012

Publication details

Format: PDF

Filesize: 1863KB

Published: 13 September 2012

Download