The global community will fail millions of children if it does not focus on the most disadvantaged in its new 15-year development roadmap, UNICEF warned. Progress for Children: Beyond Averages, UNICEF’s final report on the child-related Millennium Development Goals, says that, despite significant achievements, unequal opportunities have left millions of children living in poverty, dying before they turn five, without schooling and suffering chronic malnutrition.

“The MDGs helped the world realize tremendous progress for children – but they also showed us how many children we are leaving behind,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “The lives and futures of the most disadvantaged children matter – not only for their own sake, but for the sake of their families, their communities and their societies.”

Disparities within countries have left children from the poorest households twice as likely to die before their fifth birthday and far less likely to achieve minimum reading standards than children from the richest households.

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