Every Child Survives and Thrives: UNICEF’s Sustainable Development Goal Area 1

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 to end poverty, reduce inequality and build more peaceful, prosperous societies by 2030. Also known as the Global Goals, the SDGs are a call to action to create a world where no one is left behind.

Each year UNICEF produces Global Annual Results Reports (GARRs) in advance of the Annual Session of the UNICEF Executive Board in June.

This report details UNICEF’s and its partners’ contributions to Goal Area 1 in 2019, as well as the impact of these achievements on children and their communities.

As Broken Chalk editorial group, we skimmed through the report and summarized it for our readers.

Here are some highlights from the Goal Area 1 Report:

Every child survives and thrives

UNICEF is focusing on solving the major obstacles that have slowed progress in children’s survival, growth, and development. In 2019, worldwide program spending in Goal Area 1 totaled $2.15 billion across 152 countries. UNICEF also works with teenagers to ensure that they receive services in the areas of health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, and other issues. The organization works in a variety of fields.


UNICEF’s health programming is informed by human rights approaches and principles. In 2019, health programs were implemented in 119 countries with the help of 1,079 technical staff.

UNICEF put a specific emphasis on increasing the quality of care at the time of birth in 2019. It is hastening global efforts to improve neonatal care for small and sick newborns.

Highlights from the chapter:

– UNICEF-supported programs resulted in 27.4 million live births in health facilities.

– More than 6 million women received two or more doses of the tetanus toxoid vaccine.

– UNICEF assisted 31 countries to improve the quality of maternal and newborn care in areas where neonatal and maternal mortality are high.

– In high-burden nations, 3,008 healthcare facilities have increased access to WASH to improve the quality of maternity and neonatal care.


UNICEF prioritizes interventions to prevent all forms of malnutrition. Well-nourished children are more likely to survive and thrive. Early detection and treatment of children with life-threatening wasting are critical to saving lives, says UNICEF.

Highlights from the chapter:

  • UNICEF supports the provision of nutrition services to school-aged children and adolescents to improve nutrition knowledge and skills, promoting healthy eating habits, and providing vitamin and nutrient supplementation when necessary.
  • UNICEF prioritizes the early detection and treatment of children with severe acute malnutrition (SAM). About 5 million children with SAM were reached with treatment and care in 2019. Of the children admitted for treatment, 88 percent fully recovered in 2019 compared with 82 percent in 2018.


The global coverage for antiretroviral treatment among pregnant women living with HIV has nearly doubled. This translates to 150,000 new infections in children in 2019, far short of the end 2020 target of <20,000 per year.

Highlights from the chapter:

  • Treatment is life-saving for the 1.8 million children living with HIV, and just over half have access to treatment. Treatment coverage has stalled in the last four years and far from the global target of 95%. Mortality has declined due to the prevention of mother-to-child transmission efforts.
  • In 2018, an estimated 1.6 million adolescents (10–19 years old) were living with HIV, up 4% from 2010.
  • The number of new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women (15–24) is still three times greater than the global target established for 2020.

Early Childhood Development

In 2019, there was a considerable increase in recognition and repeated commitments across sectors, including governments, UN agencies, CSOs, and corporations, to improve collaboration and investment in Early Childhood Development (ECD).

Highlights from the chapter:

  • With established government ownership and a costed action plan, 45 nations are on pace to scale up multisectoral ECD packages.
  • With a national strategy or action plan in place, 83 countries have created an enabling policy environment for ECD.
  • The ECD in the Emergency program provided play, stimulation, and early learning opportunities to 61,000 children affected by humanitarian situations.

The Outlook

The world is currently not on track to meet sustainable development goals. UNICEF will aim to ensure that children’s right to survive and thrive services are protected. The agency will look for opportunities to harness new technology and innovations to reach children and families most at risk during the ensuing economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The world needs to take bold steps to create a world that helps children survive and get the best start in life.

This coverage by the Broken Chalk foundation is an excerpt from UNICEF’s official report site. For further details and the full report please visit the site


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