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ACTION Director Issues Statement on UNICEF’s 2011 Child Mortality Report

September 13, 2012 -- Today UNICEF released its annual report on child survival, Committing to Child Survival: A Progress Renewed (http://www.apromiserenewed.org). The report provides the latest official statistics on the numbers of children who die of largely preventable causes around the world.

ACTION Director Kolleen Bouchane issued the following statement in response to the report.

UNICEF's latest child survival report gives us reason both to celebrate and to mourn. We celebrate because fewer children die of preventable causes each year than ever before. Since 1990 the number of children under the age of five who die each year has dropped by 40 percent -- from 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011. Millions of children are alive today because they have benefited from access to vital health services, vaccines, improved access to education for all, and improved protection of their rights. At the same time, we mourn the nearly 7 million children who die needlessly each year from causes that often cost pennies to prevent. Especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, where the death of a child is more commonplace than anywhere else, children continue to be denied the fundamental right to basic health care and the other protections they need to survive.

We call on our governments, civil society, and private-sector enterprises to redouble their efforts to protect children. This includes putting resources and action behind the Child Survival Call To Action endorsed last June. With new resources and action, especially in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, we can see the day where every child has a chance to thrive.