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Child Survival Call to Action

Worldwide, under-five mortality has declined from more than 12 million deaths per year to 7.6 million in the past two decades. Yet every day, 21,000 children still die from preventable causes.

The summit invited governments and partners to sign A Promise Renewed, a pledge to work toward greater child survival.

The Child Survival Call to Action challenges the world to strive toward the ambitious goal of reducing child mortality to below 20 deaths per 1,000 live births in every country by 2035. The conference culminated in a five-point plan to increase efforts in the 24 countries that account for 80 percent of under-five deaths.

The plan also sheds light on underserved populations, addressing the five major causes of nearly 60 percent of child deaths, as well as the importance of educating women and girls, and ensuring accountability.

UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta concluded the summit, stating that the gathering represented an opportunity to change the course of history – making child deaths a thing of the past.

“I know it’s an ambitious goal, but it is attainable if we believe it is attainable; if we have the will. So the first step is to imagine a world in which no child dies needlessly from illnesses and disease that can be prevented or treated,” she said.

Ms. Gupta proclaimed the conference a landmark in the world of development for its role in rebuilding confidence in the ability to make change.

“That is our call to action, working together, each and every one, to bring about an unprecedented reduction in preventable child deaths, to renew the promise to give every child the best possible chance to survive.”