04/07/2016 - 00:08

UN predicts 69M preventable child deaths by 2030

Sixty-nine million children will die from preventable causes by 2030 if current trends of global poverty are allowed to continue, according to a report issued Tuesday by the UN Children's Emergency Fund, or UNICEF.

The agency’s annual report forecasts an additional 167 million children will live in poverty, and 750 million women would have been married as children in 14 years.

“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,” UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake said in a statement. “We have a choice: Invest in these children now or allow our world to become still more unequal and divided.”

The report notes progress made in the last three decades, with global under 5-year-old mortality rates more than halved since 1990, boys and girls attending primary schools in equal numbers in 129 countries and the number of people living in extreme poverty almost half of what it was two decades ago.

But progress has been neither even nor fair, the report said.

The poorest children are twice as likely to die before they reach the age of 5 and to be chronically malnourished than the richest, it said, adding that geographical discrepancies mean sub-Saharan Africa will account for nearly half of the 69 million child deaths by 2030 and nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty.

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