Levels & Trends in Child Mortality, Report 2012

This report was prepared at UNICEF Headquarters by Danzhen You, Jin Rou New and Tessa Wardlaw on behalf of the United
Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation.


It has been 12 years since world leaders committed
to Millennium Development Goal 4 (MDG 4),
which sets out to reduce the under-five mortality
rate by two-thirds between 1990 and 2015. Only
three years remain before the 2015 deadline. The
world has made substantial progress, reducing the
under-five mortality rate 41 percent, from 87 (85,
89) deaths per 1,000 live births in 1990 to 51 (51,
55) in 2011. However, this progress has not been
enough, and the target risks being missed at the
global level. The global under-five mortality rate
needs to be reduced to 29 deaths per 1,000 live
births—which implies an annual rate of reduction
of 14.2 percent for 2011–2015, much higher
than the 2.5 percent achieved over 1990–2011.

As global momentum and investment for accelerating
child survival grow, monitoring progress at the
global and country levels has become even more
critical. The United Nations Inter-agency Group
for Child Mortality Estimation (IGME) updates
child mortality estimates annually, and this report
presents the IGME’s latest estimates of under-five,
infant and neonatal mortality and assesses progress
towards MDG 4 at the regional and global levels.

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