Key findings of the UNICEF study include:
- An equity-focused approach improves returns on investment, averting many more child and maternal deaths and episodes of stunting than the alternative.
- Using the equity approach, a US $1 million investment in reducing under-five deaths in a low-income, high-mortality country would avert an estimated 60% more deaths than the current approach.
- Because national burdens of disease, ill health and illiteracy are concentrated in the most impoverished child populations, providing these children with essential services can greatly accelerate progress towards the MDGs and reduce disparities within nations.
Progress for Children: Meeting the MDGs with Equity, UNICEF's signature report on progress toward the MDGs, presents evidence of disparities across a range of key indicators, including between developing and industrial nations, between richest and poorest quintiles within nations, between rural and urban populations, and between boys and girls.
Key data include:
- Children from the poorest 20 percent of households in the developing world are more than twice as likely to die before reaching their fifth birthdays as children from the richest 20 percent of households.
- Children in the poorest quintiles of their societies are more than twice as likely to be underweight and face a much greater risk of stunting compared to children from the richest quintiles.
- Despite great strides towards achieving gender parity in primary education over the past decade, girls and young women in developing regions remain at a considerable disadvantage in access to education, particularly at the secondary level.
- Of the 884 million people who lack access to improved drinking water sources, 84 per cent of them live in rural areas.