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State of the World’s Mothers

May 8, 2012 Comments off

State of the World’s MothersSource: Save the Children
From press release:

Save the Children’s thirteenth State of the World’s Mothers report shows Niger as the worst place to be a mother in the world — replacing Afghanistan for the first time in two years. Norway comes in at first place. The Best and Worst Places to Be a Mom ranking, which compares 165 countries around the globe, looks at factors such as a mother’s health, education and economic status, as well as critical child indicators such as health and nutrition. This year, the United States ranks 25th.

This year, ahead of a crucial G8 meeting where President Obama is expected to discuss food and agriculture, the State of the World’s Mothers report focuses on nutrition as one of the key factors in determining mothers’ and their children’s well-being. Malnutrition is the underlying cause of at least a fifth of maternal mortality and more than a third of child deaths.

Of the ten countries at the bottom of Save the Children’s annual index, seven are in the midst of a food crisis. Niger, in bottom place, is currently in the grip of a worsening hunger situation, threatening the lives of a million children. Four of the bottom ten countries have seen an increase in stunting over the past two decades — where children’s mental and physical growth is permanently blighted by malnutrition.

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15 Million Babies Born Too Soon

May 4, 2012 Comments off

15 Million Babies Born Too Soon
Source: Save the Children

Each year, some 15 million babies in the world, more than one in 10 births, are born too early, according to Born Too Soon: The Global Action Report on Preterm Birth, released today by Save the Children, The March of Dimes Foundation, the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and The World Health Organization. More than one million of those babies die shortly after birth; countless others suffer some type of lifelong physical, neurological, or educational disability, often at great cost to families and society. The report, with contributions from more than 100 experts representing almost 50 agencies, universities, organizations, and parent groups, includes the first-ever country ranking of preterm birth rates.

+ Full Report (PDF)

A Decade after 9/11, America Still Unprepared to Protect Children during Disasters

September 1, 2011 Comments off

A Decade after 9/11, America Still Unprepared to Protect Children during Disasters
Source: Save the Children

Hurricane Irene put disaster preparedness in the nation’s spotlight this weekend, and the upcoming 10th anniversary of 9/11 will do the same. In both cases, there is one constant in the chaos: Most states still fail to plan ahead for the safety of children in the event of a disaster.

Save the Children’s U.S. Programs has released its fourth annual National Report Card on Protecting Children During Disasters. Ninety percent of U.S. children live in an area at risk of natural disaster and terrorists can strike anywhere.

The report found that ten years after 9/11, more than two-thirds of the country still does not require the four basic preparedness and safety standards for children in schools and child care facilities during a disaster. Only 17 states meet all four standards; Connecticut, Kentucky, New York, Tennessee and West Virginia are 2011 additions.

“If we’re not prepared to protect kids during disasters, we’re not prepared to protect America,” said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President for Save the Children’s U.S. Programs. “Parents assume that their children are taken care of when they drop them off at school or child care. Many schools and child care facilities are not required to meet basic standards to protect kids should a disaster strike. For the 67 million kids separated from their families on any given day, this is unacceptable.”

For child care, the basic standards are: written plans for evacuation and relocation, written plans for family reunification, and plans for supporting children with special needs. For K-12 schools, the standard is a written multi-hazard plan.

The report graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia on four criteria of preparedness. The results are:

  • Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia failed to meet all four basic preparedness standards.
  • Twenty-one states still do not require all licensed child care facilities to have an evacuation and relocation plan.
  • Twenty-two states still do not require all licensed child care facilities to have a plan to reunite families.
  • Nine states still do not require K–12 schools to have a disaster plan that accounts for multiple types of disasters.
  • More than half of all states still do not require all licensed child care facilities to have a plan that accounts for kids with special needs.
  • Six states do not require any of the four basic disaster safety and preparedness standards for licensed child care facilities or schools.

+ Full Report

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