Vietnam has reaped remarkable achievements in caring for children, according a recently released report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

As the final version, the UNICEF report on millennium development goals (MDGs) related to children highlights the experience of countries around the world in realising MDGs and important outcomes in bringing progress for children worldwide since 1990.

Globally , mortality of children under-five dropped by more than half – from 90 per 1,000 live births to 43 per 1,000 live births – while underweight and chronic malnutrition among children under five decreased by 42 percent and 41 percent, respectively. Maternal mortality decreased by 45 percent while some 2.6 billion people gained access to improved drinking water sources.

Vietnam made major strides in the period. Since 2000, the mortality rate of children under-five in the country has been halved from 39 per 1,000 live births to 20, the number of stunted children has been reduced by one third (from 36 percent to 25 percent), and the percentage of people with access to clean water has increased from 78 percent to 92 percent.

According to UNICEF, stronger local health, education and social protection systems can help more children grow up and develop comprehensively.

In its report, UNICEF also emphasised the need for global leaders to pay attention to disadvantaged children in building and adopting sustainable development goals (SDGs) and designing investment projects.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil, Chief Representative of UNICEF in Vietnam said the country has reached a gender balance in primary education and the difference of the number of stunted children in urban and rural areas also saw a remarkable drop.

MDGs provide an orientation for new development goals, helping focus on children who have not benefited from MDGs, he stressed.

UNICEF will work closely with its Vietnamese partners to implement SDGs, especially in activities to bringing progress for children, he added.-VNA