Save the Children Canada

Save the Children Canada

September 12, 2012 19:00 ET

Save the Children Welcomes Accelerating Reduction in Children Deaths, but Warns Progress Remains Insufficient

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 12, 2012) - Save the Children says the latest United Nations figures on children mortality suggest the world is achieving strong results in the fight to end preventable child deaths.

For the first time, annual global child mortality figures are reported to have fallen below seven million (6.9 million) in 2011, down from 7.6 million in 2010, with breakthroughs taking place even in many of the poorest countries.

But whilst progress is accelerating, global progress is still too slow to achieve the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, warns Save the Children.

"These new child mortality estimates show that we are within reach of ending preventable child deaths. That we have halved child deaths in a generation is absolute validation that aid and programs focused on children and women work," said Patricia Erb, President and CEO of Save the Children.

"To save the last 6.9 million children, we will need to keep up the fight. We know what low-cost solutions work to save the lives of moms, newborns and babies. What we need now is the political will to ensure that these solutions reach the poorest who need it the most. All of us - individual Canadians, companies and government - need to work together to get this job done."

In an effort to accelerate this progress and end all preventable child deaths, Save the Children's EVERY ONE campaign is calling for concrete action to help achieve this goal, putting special focus on ensuring access to healthcare workers, support for immunization, and increased efforts to tackle malnutrition.

The new UN report ranks the leading causes of child death as pneumonia, premature birth, diarrhea, childbirth complications, and malaria, with child malnutrition remaining an underlying cause of a third of child deaths. Additionally, the findings reveal that nearly half of under-five deaths occur in only five countries: India, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Pakistan, and China.

The report also shows that as deaths to all children aged below five have dropped, those occurring in the first month of life have declined more slowly. As a result, newborn deaths now account for 43 per cent of child deaths, up from 36 per cent in 1990. Overall, the vast majority of child deaths - 83 per cent - now occur in sub-Saharan Africa and south Asia.

Save the Children said it is a critical time for all supporters to help to maintain momentum to fight this continuing crisis. Healthier children are the foundation for more productive, prosperous and stable communities, which benefit everyone, the agency said.

About Save the Children

As the world's leading independent child rights organization, Save the Children's mission is to inspire breakthroughs in the way the world treats children, and to achieve immediate and lasting change in their lives. We work to create a world in which every child attains the right to survival, protection, development and participation.

Save the Children operates in 119 countries worldwide, including Canada, focusing on the issues of health and nutrition, education, HIV and AIDS, child protection, livelihoods and food security, emergency relief and child rights governance. Learn more about our work at

Contact Information

  • Media Contacts:
    Save the Children Canada
    Cicely McWilliam
    Senior Advisor, Policy, Campaigns, Media
    (416) 218-1888 or Cell: (647) 291-1683

    Save the Children Canada
    Bryna Jones
    Manager, Communications
    (416) 221-5501 x222 or Cell: (647) 273-7134