KATHMANDU, June29:Poorest children are twice as likely to die or to be chronically malnourished before their fifth birthday than the richest, a report unveiled by UNICEF on Tuesday stated.
The State of the World's Children, UNICEF's annual flagship report, shows that compared to the richest children, the poorest are 3.7 times less likely to have been born in the presence of a skilled birth attendant in Nepal.
Similarly, compared to 84 per cent of the richest children who had access to early childhood education, only 41 per cent of the poorest had this life-changing opportunity.
Under-5 mortality rate has fallen to 36 from 141 per 1,000 live births since 1990.
Primary school attendance among boys and girls is equal at 76 per cent for both. "But this progress has been neither even nor fair," says the report of the UN agency that promotes the rights of every child.
The report further stated that across much of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, children born to mothers with no education are almost 3 times more likely to die before they are five than those born to mothers with a secondary education.
Similarly, girls from the poorest households are twice as likely to marry as children than girls from the wealthiest households.
Based on current trends, 69 million children under five will die mostly from preventable causes, 167 million children will live in poverty, and 750 million women will have been married as children by 2030, the target date for the Sustainable Development Goals - unless the world focuses more on the plight of its most disadvantaged children, according to the UNICEF report released on Tuesday.