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Fast facts

Less than 10% of children

Could access early childhood care and education in one-third of countries in 2011.

UNICEF report calls governments to fight inequity

Print version
04 July 2016
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Despite tremendous achievements over the past 15 years in reducing under-5 mortality, expanding access to education, and lifting people out of poverty, progress has been neither even nor fair. Equitable progress for the most disadvantaged children is critical for the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which pledge to leave no one behind.

UNICEF flagship report ‘The State of the World’s Children 2016: A fair chance for every child’, which was launched on 28 June 2016, shows that if more is not done to reach the most disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded children, the world will fall short of meeting its goals on ending poverty, reducing child mortality and achieving universal primary and secondary education by 2030.

«For the most part, the constraints on reaching these children are not technical," wrote UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake in his foreword to the report. «They are a matter of political commitment. They are a matter of resources. And they are a matter of collective will.»

The report is a call to action for governments to ramp up their efforts to achieve the SDGs — starting with a focus on the children left furthest behind. Based on UNICEF’s 70 years of experience working on behalf of the hardest-to-reach children, the report proposes five pathways to equity that can guide governments, development partners, civil society and communities: better data on the most vulnerable children; integrated solutions to the challenges children face; innovative approaches to solve old problems; more equitable investment and budgeting; and increased involvement by communities. It also suggests governments set their own interim equity targets leading up to 2030, with national strategies to meet the various goals.

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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