UN: More must be done on child survival

A July 2013 United Nations (UN) progress report on the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) states that "Big gains have been made in child survival, but more must be done to meet our obligations to the youngest generation." In addition, the report says: "Most maternal deaths are preventable, but progress in this area is falling short." These vital points are at the heart of the Child Health Now campaign and its upcoming effort to ask leaders to “Close the Gap”.

The MDGs are a set of eight global goals around issues like health and poverty reduction that UN member states agreed to in 2000, with the aim to achieve them by 2015. The world is falling short of achieving many of the targets. World Vision’s Child Health Now campaign is most focused on MDG 4—“Reducing child mortality rates—and MDG 5—“Improving maternal health,” because the health of mothers is vital to the health of their children.

Entitled "The Millennium Development Goals Report 2013," the UN’s progress report has an introduction by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who reminds readers that "We are now less than 1,000 days to the 2015 target date for achieving the MDGs." The Child Health Now campaign is seeking to reach leaders prior to the UN General Assembly with a similar message, mobilising citizens around the world to remind those leaders that five years should not be a child’s lifetime and that the clock is ticking if the world wants to meet its targets by 2015.

Lisa O’Shea, External Campaign Manager– World Vision International, said:

“When we started the Millennium Development Goals journey at the turn of this century, 12 million children were dying every year before their fifth birthday. Through the concerted and sustained efforts of governments, the UN, development organisations and others we have now closed the gap to less than 7 million.

“With two years left until the 2015 deadline, much more needs to be done if the MDGs are to be met and millions of children Survive 5. The call to action will be for governments, civil society and corporations to ‘Close the Gap’ on global poverty and bring down child mortality.”

In 4-10th September 2013, just before the UN General Assembly, World Vision country offices around the world will mobilise their supporters through public events, church services and both traditional and social media. This will occur in both developed and developing countries. The mobilisation will focus on:

  • the widening gap between rich and poor (and even poor and poorer) countries, communities and families
  • the gap still left to achieve the MDGs, and how the public must sustain the pressure on governments
  • how the MDGs have often overlooked the poorest and most marginalised children causing a greater gap
  • how the MDGs will contribute to the post-2015 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) process.

The SDGs are the set of potential future goals being debated as part of the on-going post-2015 agenda discussions in which governments, organisations and communities around the world are taking part.
With regard to the current MDGs, the UN progress report states that “Accelerated progress and bolder action are needed in many areas.” Child Health Now could not agree more and the campaign aims to remind leaders that such bold action is an absolute necessity for closing the gap in child health. Learn more about the Child Health Now campaign’s plans for 4-10th September and the UN General Assembly – information and updates will be made available on www.childhealthnow.org during the coming weeks.

  • Join the Child Health Now campaign Here