17 April 2012 - Annual child death rate drops by 4 million since 1990: Save the Children report reveals overseas aid among key drivers of change
Aid is one of six key factors that have driven marked improvements in child wellbeing and survival over the last 20 years, according to a new report Save the Children released today.
Independent research conducted by the Overseas Development Institute agency has found that over 4 million fewer children under the age of five die each year compared to 1990.
Save the Children New Zealand CEO Liz Gibbs said “This report clearly demonstrates the positive impact of well-targeted aid. Millions more children are now surviving beyond their fifth birthday thanks to aid, economic growth and good government policy. Where funding gaps exist – for example for primary education or child health – aid can make all the difference.”
Other key factors driving improvements are: commitment and leadership from national governments; social investment and economic growth, well-planned programmes which target the most marginalised groups and technology and innovation.
The report Progress in Child Well-Being: Building on What Works shows that aid works best in coordination with these factors and can also fill gaps, for example when governance is weak.
“This research demonstrates that there is a clear path to progress, and reinforces the important commitment the New Zealand government has made on overseas aid spending,” said Ms Gibbs
56 million more children were enrolled in school in between 1999 and 2009. 131 countries now have over 90% immunisation coverage for diphtheria, tetanus and major preventable childhood diseases, such as measles, compared to just 63 countries in 1990.
While the report highlights progress from the last 20 years, it also demonstrates the challenges ahead. Globally child mortality remains high and 171 million children are still stunted from the effects of malnutrition. The economic crisis and existing funding shortfalls mean that progress on HIV/ AIDS and work on child malnutrition are at risk.
The report will be launched at the spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group on 20 April and at the Houses of Parliament in the United Kingdom on 01 May.