SOURCE: Save the Children

Save the Children

September 22, 2010 06:00 ET

Save the Children Urges World Leaders: Run, Don't Walk

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - September 22, 2010) -  The lives of 15 million children could be saved if world leaders deliver on the agreement they are due to sign today in New York, says Save the Children.

But without a dramatic change of pace, the Millennium Development Goals will be a tragic lost opportunity, Save the Children warns on the final day of the summit to review progress.

Jasmine Whitbread, Chief Executive of Save the Children International, said: "Ban Ki-moon's new global strategy on children's and women's health means we are still in the race, but 15 million lives depend on a sprint finish.

"We need to reduce child mortality four times faster if we're going to reach the finish line by 2015. We know what needs to be done -- but the message to world leaders is clear: run don't walk."

Save the Children has identified several countries that have made real progress in saving children's lives against the odds, including Malawi, Bangladesh, Nepal and Ghana.

The aid agency said it is a myth that a country's wealth directly relates to how many children's lives it is able to save. Instead, it says political will is the single most important thing in saving children.

Malawi, for example, has a per capita income of less than $1 a day but has more than halved child mortality from 22% in 1990 to 10% in 2008.

Jasmine Whitbread added: "Leaders have signed up to some sound principles in New York. They have said they want to focus on lasting results and be held to account. They must now translate this into real action.

"They cannot leave New York thinking it is business as usual. They must urgently deliver the funds and policy changes to support Ban Ki-moon's new global strategy. The lives of millions of children depend on it."

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