Unless the world turns focus on the plight of all disadvantaged children, 69 million juveniles would die of preventable diseases, 167m would be confined to abject poverty and 750m girls would be married off by 2030, according to a new UNICEF report.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) report, which was released on Tuesday in New York, further reveals that Uganda needs to reduce its under-five mortality rate in poor communities by 6.8% per year to enable the country realise the 2030 target of 25 deaths per 1,000 live births.
Key diseases such as Malaria, Pneumonia and diarrhoea have been singled out by the report as the leading causes of death for children below five years.
"To lift the world's poorest children out of poverty, governments, donors, businesses and international organisations have been tasked to accelerate efforts to address the needs of the most disadvantaged children first so that no one is left behind," the report noted.
In a statement issued by UNICEF, the organisation's Representative in Uganda, Aida Girma said: "In many cases, the constraints on reaching these children are not technical. They are a matter of political commitment and collective will. They are a matter of resources. If we all join forces, we can address the inequity and inequality that hundreds of thousands of children across Uganda currently experience."
The report also registered some progress on under-five mortality rate, especially in some countries, but largely called for concerted effort.
"Under-five mortality should continue to decline for all children. But in order to reach the child survival targets, mortality rates for children from the poorest households will have to fall much more rapidly than the rates for those from the wealthiest households," the report noted, calling on governments to curb early-marriages, poverty and also improve access of education to children.