Today, around 21,000 children died around the world — Global Issues

Today, around 21,000 children died around the world — Global Issues


By Anup Shah

• Every minute, some 15 children die around the world, from poverty, easily preventable diseases, illnesses, and related causes. This rarely makes the headline news that one might expect such a tragedy to do.

Some 21,000 children die every day around the world (data from 2010).

The silent killers are poverty, hunger, easily preventable diseases and illnesses, and other related causes. Despite the scale of this daily/ongoing catastrophe, it rarely manages to achieve, much less sustain, prime-time, headline coverage.

Unfortunately, it seems that the world still does not notice. It might be reasonable to expect that death and tragedy on this scale should be prime time headlines news. Yet, these issues only surface when there are global meetings or concerts (such as the various G8 summits, the Make Poverty History campaign in 2005, etc).

Furthermore, year after year, we witness that when those campaigns end and the meetings conclude, so does the mainstream media coverage.

Progress has certainly been made as each year the number of children under 5 dying is slowly coming down. However, as UNICEF cautioned in their State of the World’s Children, 2008 report, progress has been unevenly distributed (p.25). For example, good progress was made by a few nations with large populations, but many countries made no progress or insufficient progress (p.iii)

Also of concern is that the global financial crisis, largely the making of rich countries, is affecting the poorest. Margaret Chan, director-general of the WHO, estimates between 200,000 and 400,000 additional children will die because of this global financial crisis.

21,000 children die every day
1 child dying every 4 seconds
14 children dying every minute
A 2011 Libya conflict-scale death toll every day
A 2010 Haiti earthquake occurring every 10 days
A 2004 Asian Tsunami occurring every 11 days
An Iraq-scale death toll every 19–46 days
Just under 7.6 million children dying every year
Some 92 million children dying between 2000 and 2010
it measures an ‘outcome’ of the development process rather than an ‘input’

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Jan Oberg comments
“And then we should add the adults who also die daily because their most basic needs cannot be satisfied due to structural violence – a type of violence that the media are still basically neglecting in comparison with direct violence – of which you can take pictures.”

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