UNICEF, Save the Children Push for Focus on Poorest Children, Communities

    Children at an IDP camp in West Darfur, Sudan. A UNICEF report urges the international community to shift its focus to helping and treating children in poor countries to save more lives. Photo by: Fred Noy / UN

    The international community can save more lives if it shifts its focus to helping and treating children living in some of the world’s poorest countries, according to a UNICEF report published ahead of the high-level U.N. summit in New York later this month.

    In a similar report, the international organization Save the Children said that up to 4 million children around the world are dying because of neglect. The report suggests that current strategies employed to address child mortality neglect the needs of children from some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities, BBC says.

    UNICEF presents a similar argument.

    “In fact, compelling data suggest that in the global push to achieve the MDGs, we are leaving behind millions of the world’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and marginalized children: the children who are facing the longest odds,” Tony Lake, the agency’s executive director, said as quoted by the Guardian.

    UNICEF urges the international community to invest in the poorest communities and most disadvantaged countries first, news agencies report.

    “The payoff is bigger if you are treating children who are suffering from more diseases rather than treating children in better off communities who are suffering from fewer diseases,” Lake explained, according to BBC.

    The UNICEF report also outlines five global threats that could hamper progress toward achieving Millennium Development Goals involving children, namely ongoing budget cuts in Western countries, the financial and food crises, climate change, rapid urbanization and escalating human crises.

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      Ivy Mungcal

      As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.