As 2011 nears to a close, we head into a new year filled with greater opportunities to save millions more children living in the world's poorest countries. Since 1960, the death rate of children has decreased dramatically from 20 million to less than eight million today. This decline is one of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century.
The infographic above from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) illustrates the numerous effective, low cost programs the United States is funding that have helped make a significant dent in child mortality, and that will continue to make a difference in the years to come. The programs include:
- giving children living in poor countries the same access to life-saving vaccines that have been long-available to children living in rich countries,
- teaching new mothers simple methods to help their newborn child survive beyond the first 30 days of life,
- providing access to new treatment to protect children from being infected by their HIV+ mother,
- and helping moms and babies be healthy with methods for spacing births and improving overall nutrition.
The impact of these programs: saving five million lives in five years.
These simple, yet remarkable advancements in improving the lives of the world’s poorest are the result of spending just one percent of our nation's budget. One percent!
I'm looking forward to 2012, another year during which governments like ours will be building on the unprecedented progress in health and development achieved to date.
Happy New Year!