There are scandals that make no noise. And these are usually the biggest ones. In 2016, 15,000 children died every day in the world. This represents approximately 5.6 million children for the whole year… Almost half of the population of the urban area of Paris. Or more than that of the greater Montreal urban area.
But the world was looking elsewhere in 2016. There were certainly other more crunchy scandals. It is true that to look after our future, to take an interest in it, to fight against this scourge, of those children who die, it’s more difficult.
But there is not only bad news: between 1990 and 2016, the under-five mortality rate decreased by 56%. It went from 93 to 41 deaths per 1,000 live births. The advances of the last 16 years have even been faster than between 1990 and 2000. About 50 million lives have been saved since 2000, children who would not have survived to their fifth birthday if this rate had remained unchanged.
In 1990, 35,000 children would die each day, or 12.6 million that year. The world is therefore progressing with giant leaps, but this is still insufficient, especially in sub-Saharan Africa.
This region of the world has the highest under-five mortality rate in the world, with 78 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2016 (one in three children dies before reaching the age of five!). The contrast is striking with high-income countries, which have an average under-five mortality rate of 5 per 1,000 (one in 200 children will not reach their fifth birthday). With a rate of 132.5 per 1,000 live births (meaning one in eight children does not survive), Somalia has a gruesome world record.