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Unicef report calls for children to move to the top of the health agenda

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 16 December 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:1490
  1. Susan Mayor
  1. London

    The poverty and neglect still suffered by millions of children in the world is a “waste of human potential,” warned an assessment of the wellbeing of children published this week by Unicef (the United National Children's Fund).

    Unicef's latest assessment of the wellbeing of children, The State of the World's Children 2001—reported a lack of investment in child health in many countries around the world, despite growing realisation of the importance of sustainable development in other areas.

    The executive director of Unicef, Carol Bellamy, argued: “Investment in the development and care of our youngest children is the most fundamental form of good leadership. The world is squandering human potential on a massive scale as hundreds of millions of the world's youngest citizens flounder in poverty and neglect in their first years of life.”

    The report focused particularly on the health of children aged 3 years and under, arguing that these early years are critical to how the …

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