A shocking report released by Unicef has revealed that 69 million children under the age of five will die from preventable causes by 2030, and they are calling on governments, donors and businesses to “accelerate efforts to address their needs”.
Highlighting how 750 million children will have been married off and 167 million will live in poverty by 2030 (the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals), Unicef Executive Director Anthony Lake said: “Denying hundreds of millions of children a fair chance in life does more than threaten their futures – by fueling intergenerational cycles of disadvantage, it imperils the future of their societies.”
“We have a choice: Invest in these children now or allow our world to become still more unequal and divided.”
The State of the World’s Children, Unicef’s annual flagship report highlights how under-five mortality rates globally have been more than halved, boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries and the number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is almost half what it was, but it is still not enough.
As the report states, this progress is not fair nor even and the poorest children are twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday and to be chronically malnourished than the richest.
Sadly, across much of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, children born to mothers with no education are almost three times more likely to die before they are five than those born to mothers with a secondary education.
And girls from the poorest households are twice as likely to marry as children than girls from the wealthiest households.
Calling for stronger efforts to educate children, the report highlights how each year of additional education increases an adult’s income by 10%.