A Look Back at 2018
Children aged 14 or under make up a quarter of the 7.5 billion world population today. If we take their dreams and strength as indicators of our world’s future and direction, then we ought to ask: how has 2018 been for them?
200 million children are still out of school
Children’s education remains an issue of concern, as one in every five children aged between six and 17 is out of school. In the world’s poorest countries, this figure can even go up to one in three children. Furthermore, according to United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals Report 2018, more than half of the world’s children and adolescents are not meeting minimum proficiency standards in reading and mathematics, which means they may still end up as illiterate even though they are attending school. Therefore, apart from promoting education, we have also been providing training for teachers to improve their capacity and ensure that children are actually learning at school.
More than 10,000 infants die every day while needs for safe drinking water remain unmet
The rates of under-five mortality, as released by the World Health Organisation, has dropped from 93 to 41 per 1,000 live births in 2016. While that is a positive sign, some 15,000 children still die every day before reaching their fifth birthday. Some 870,000 lives were also lost in 2016 due to lack of safe drinking water, safe sanitation and hygiene. World Vision has been working to prevent children from contracting diseases after drinking unclean water, as well as to safeguard the well-being of children, reaching a new family every six second with clean drinking water.
Your support has allowed sponsored children to walk out of poverty
The 2018 Multidimensional Poverty Index, a report released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), states that half of all people living in poverty are children under 18. Thanks to the support of our sponsors in Hong Kong and Macau over the years, four of our Area Development Programmes in Bangladesh, Mongolia, the Philippines and Malawi have been able to complete their work, having benefitted over 32,000 sponsored children, their families and communities. In a community in the Philippines, only less than 60% of children were able to read with comprehension. But thanks to interventions such as promoting reading through peer facilitators, that figure now stands at 90%.
Conflict still deprives children of rights 100 years after WWI
In the zero draft of UNHCR’s The Global Compact on Refugees released this year, the international community has been encouraged to respond to the refugee crises with a fairer and more practical approach. The draft, which is yet to be implemented, also encourages countries to deploy more resources to providing greater education, health and development opportunities for refugee children. Children make up more than half of the global refugee population and are deprived of many basic rights, which can be highlighted by the fact that they are still five times more likely to be out of school than their non-refugee peers. World Vision has been running child friendly spaces for refugee children in countries such as Jordan, Bangladesh and Uganda to provide assistance such as education and psychosocial support.
Global warming leads to extreme climate and more hunger
The UN has highlighted that the global temperature is 10C higher than the mid-19th century. If this trend continues, the rise will reach the critical level of 1.50C between 2030 and 2052. We must therefore act immediately to prevent a climate disaster. Triggered by climate change and conflict, the number of people who suffer from hunger has been increasing over the past three years to about 821 million, effectively the levels from a decade ago. In the past five years, World Vision has been working tirelessly to save lives, and we are glad that 89% of the children who suffered from severe malnutrition have made a full recovery after receiving treatment from us.