30 June 2016 Current Affairs: The United Nations Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has released the State of the World’s Children 2016 report on 28 June 2016.
The data in the report show that, unless the pace of progress to reach them is accelerated, the futures of millions of disadvantaged and vulnerable children will be jeopardized.
Highlights of the State of the World's Children 2016 report : The report mentions that unless the world focuses more on the plight of its most disadvantaged children, by 2030:Almost 70 million children may die before reaching their fifth birthdays.
Children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times more likely to die before their fifth birthdays than children in high-income countries.
Nine out of 10 children living in extreme poverty will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
More than 60 million primary school-aged children will be out of school.
Some 750 million women will have been married as children.The report also indicates that significant progress has been made in saving children’s lives, getting children into school and lifting people out of poverty.Global under-five mortality rates have been more than halved since 1990.
Boys and girls attend primary school in equal numbers in 129 countries.The number of people living in extreme poverty worldwide is almost half what it was in the 1990s.
The number of children who do not attend school has increased since 2011. A significant proportion of those who do go to school are not learning.About 124 million children today do not go to primary and lower-secondary school. Almost 2 in 5, who do finish primary school, have not learned how to read, write or do simple arithmetic.
The report also points that investing in the most vulnerable children can yield immediate and long-term benefits. For example, cash transfers have been shown to help children stay in school longer and advance to higher levels of education.For each additional year of schooling completed, on average, by young adults in a country, country’s poverty rates fall by 9 per cent.
India in the report : The report states that five countries will account for more than half of the global burden of under-five deaths. These countries are India (17 per cent), Nigeria (15 per cent), Pakistan (8 per cent), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (7 per cent) and Angola (5 per cent).
The average annual rate of reduction in neonatal mortality required for India to reach the target is almost double the current level.In India, being born into the poorest households carries a learning ‘penalty’ relative to children from the richest households. The penalty widens between ages 7 and 11, reaching a 19 per cent gap in students’ ability to subtract.
By age 11 in India, girls and boys who come from the richest homes and have educated parents enjoy a huge academic advantage over other children.