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Make 2021 ‘safer, healthier world for children’, UNICEF chief urges

January 02, 2021
Midwife lifts one of the very first babies born in Mali in 2020 at a Health Center in Segou, central Mali, in this courtesy file picture.
Midwife lifts one of the very first babies born in Mali in 2020 at a Health Center in Segou, central Mali, in this courtesy file picture.

NEW YORK — The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Thursday that more than 371,500 children would be born on the first day of 2021.

“The children born today enter a world far different than even a year ago, and a New Year brings a new opportunity to reimagine it”, UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.

As always, the Pacific island nation of Fiji will welcome the first baby of the new year and the United States the last one.

Over half of these global births are estimated to take place in the 10 countries of India – 59,995; China – 35,615; Nigeria – 21,439; Pakistan – 14,161; Indonesia –12,336; Ethiopia – 12,006 – US (10,312), Egypt – 9,455; Bangladesh – 9,236; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – 8,640.

In total, UNICEF estimates an 84-year average life expectancy for the 140 million children it projects will be born throughout 2021.

The year will also mark the 75th anniversary of UNICEF.

Over the course of 2021, UNICEF and its partners will be commemorating the milestone anniversary with events and announcements celebrating three-quarters of a century of protecting children from conflict, disease, and exclusion, and championing their right to survival, health, and education. 

“Children born today will inherit the world we begin to build for them today”, reminded the UNICEF chief.

“Let us make 2021 the year we start to build a fairer, safer, healthier world for children”, she added.

Meanwhile, as the number of COVID-19 cases continues to soar, so do the needs of children and their families, the UN agency said.

From delivering life-saving health supplies to building water and hygiene facilities, to keeping girls and boys connected to education and protection, UNICEF is working to slow the spread of the pandemic and minimize its impact on children worldwide.  — UN news


January 02, 2021
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