MDG4: Reduce Child Mortality

Girls worldwide say "together we can save children's lives"

Reduce Child Mortality is the fourth Millennium Development Goal (MDG).

Child Mortality (death) means, in this case, the death of infants and children under the age of five. The aim is to reduce the mortality rate among children under five by two thirds.

Are targets being met?

  • A number of countries have made very good progress in reducing under-five mortality, including Lao PDR, Bangladesh, Bolivia and Nepal, each of which has reduced their under-five mortality rates by more than 50 per cent since 1990. These countries are on track to reach the MDG target. Overall, the number of deaths of children under five has declined by 20 per cent since 1990, however this is still a long way short of the MDG 4 target.
  • 91 developing countries still lag far behind. Many have seen mortality rates rise since 1990 such as countries from Sub-Saharan Africa as well as Iraq and former members of the Soviet Union. In Sierra Leone, the country with the worst under-five mortality rate in the world, 262 out of every 1,000 children die before their fifth birthday.

Did you know?

  • One African child dies every 30 seconds from malaria. Insecticide-treated nets prevent transmission and increase child survival.
  • Under-nutrition is a contributing cause of more than one-third of the 9.2 million under-five deaths worldwide.
  • Over 90 per cent of children with HIV are infected through mother-to-child transmission, which can be prevented with antiretroviral drugs, as well as safer delivery and feeding practices.
  • About 20 million children under five worldwide are severely underfeed, which leaves them more likely to become ill or die early.

Position Statements

WAGGGS has published several position statements on issues that are relevant to girls and young women worldwide. The statements contain information on what WAGGGS has to say about the topic, background facts and case studies. WAGGGS’ Member Organizations can find them on the Members’ Area of WAGGGS’ website or you can request them from

Your comments

Caitlyn - 31 January 2013 - 3.33PM (GMT)

This has got to stop.

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