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We have made huge strides in reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases. Since 1990, there has been an over 50 percent decline in preventable child deaths globally. Maternal mortality also fell by 45 percent worldwide. Between 2000 and 2013, over 6.2 million lives were saved from malaria and new HIV/AIDS infections fell by 30 percent.

Despite this incredible progress, more than 6 million children still die before their fifth birthday every year. 16,000 children die each day from preventable diseases such as measles and tuberculosis. Every day hundreds of women die during pregnancy or from child-birth related complications. In many rural areas, only 56 percent of births are attended by skilled professionals. AIDS is now the leading cause of death among teenagers in sub-Saharan Africa, a region still severely devastated by the HIV epidemic. These deaths can be avoided through prevention and treatment, education, immunization campaigns, and sexual and reproductive healthcare.

Average life expectancy in the Arab region increased from 58.5 years in 1980 to 70.6 years in 2015. In addition, child mortality in the Arab region has significantly decreased from an average of 131 per 1000 live births in 1980 to 36.8 per 1000 in 2015, due in part, to the progress that many Arab countries have made in increasing access to improved sanitation facilities from 66 percent in 1990 to 90 percent by 2015.

The Sustainable Development Goals make a bold commitment to end the epidemics of tuberculosis, malaria, AIDS and other communicable diseases by 2030. The aim is to achieve universal health coverage, and provide access to safe and affordable medicines and vaccines for all. Supporting research and development for vaccines is an essential part of this process as well.

Goals in action

UNDP Syria

Reaching TB Patients: UNDP helps Tuberculosis through the Global Fund

Tuberculosis is a disease that is characterized with public ignorance and high social stigma of TB-patients leading to possible infected people to turn away support and care. MORE >


Opening of the Fallujah maternity and children’s hospital

The city of Fallujah, in Anbar Governorate, is home to approximately 700,000 people. Fallujah experienced some of the greatest violence and conflict in Iraq since May 2003. MORE >

UNDP Somalia

Using radio programmes to increase community awareness about HIV and AIDS MORE >

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