Sixty-nine million under-5s will die by 2030 unless global aid increases

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After school, Jhuma Akhter, 14, studies at a desk her mother uses by day to sell items she scavanged in Khulna, Bangladesh. © UNICEF/UN016303/Gilbertson VII Photo

Poverty, illiteracy and premature death await the world's most disadvantaged children, unless the world "focusses more" on their plight.

That's according to the UN Children's Fund's (UNICEF) annual report, published on Tuesday, The State of the World's Children.

This year's report warns that hundreds of millions of children will be denied a fair chance unless investment significantly increases on the part of governments, donors and businesses.

Matthew Wells reports.

UNICEF's 2016 report provides some stark statistics based on current trends on where the world's children are likely to be by 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs.

It says that 69 million of those under five will die from "mostly preventable causes," and that 167 million children will "live in poverty".

It adds that 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030.

It notes that "significant progress" has been made in the past 25 years, saving children's lives, getting children into school and alleviating poverty.

Under-five mortality rates have more than halved since 1990, the report says. 

But UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, said that the international community had a clear choice.

"Invest in these children now," he said, or "allow our world to become still more unequal and divided."

He added that denying them the aid and support they needed "imperils the future of their societies".

In sub-Saharan Africa in particular, the threat was immense, with 9 out of 10 children condemned to living in extreme poverty, unless things change.

Matthew Wells, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03″

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