Over the past 25 years, the United States has played a leading role in one of the world’s most remarkable success stories: unprecedented progress to prevent the deaths of millions of children. Thank you, America!
- THE RESULTS ARE UNPRECEDENTED: The world has made remarkable progress to prevent the deaths of millions of children under the age of five.
- This year, six million fewer children will die before their fifth birthday than did just 25 years ago. U.S. foreign assistance has played a leading role in achieving these results, dramatically improving children’s health and survival worldwide.
- In just 12 short years, annual deaths from preventable diseases have fallen remarkably*:
- Pneumonia: 700,000 fewer children died
- Diarrhea: 600,000 fewer children died
- Measles: 400,000 fewer children died
- Malaria: 300,000 fewer children died
- AIDS: 100,000 fewer children died
* UNICEF estimates, updated in May, 2014, comparing deaths in 2012, the most recent year available, to deaths in 2000
- And it’s not just fewer deaths but also fewer sicknesses. Today, for example, ten million people are walking, spared the crippling effects of polio thanks to the global polio eradication program led by the U.S. government, UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International and the Gates Foundation*.
* WHO Fact Sheet, updated in May 2014 (www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs114/en/)
- THANK YOU, AMERICA. No country has done more than the United States to help the world’s poorest children celebrate their fifth birthday and thrive beyond it.
- With the support of the American people, U.S. foreign assistance programs have helped cut in half the annual number of deaths of children under five since 1990.
- These efforts are the results of strong bipartisan leadership and cooperation between multiple Administrations and Congressional leaders.
- These stunning results would not have happened without the historic collaboration between the world’s governments, multilateral institutions and local players.
- In addition, diverse allies such as NGOs, civic groups, faith and business communities, universities and philanthropies have come together to leverage billions more private dollars for overseas health and development programs.
- BUT THE NEEDS REMAIN. Despite these results, 6.6 million children under five will not reach their birthdays this year, dying mainly from preventable diseases. Now is the time to re-commit our investments in life-saving programs, providing millions of children the opportunity to survive and thrive beyond their 5th birthday.
- American foreign assistance has played a key role in ensuring millions of children worldwide have a fifth birthday, but 18,000 children a day still don’t reach that milestone. Forty-four percent of those deaths occur during the newborn period.
- Now is the time to increase support for effective interventions that allow children to survive and thrive such as:
- Bed nets
- Anti-retroviral medications
- Clean water and toilets
- Better nutrition
- Quality care at birth