New Year’s babies expected to live longer, says Unicef


Unicef has estimated that nearly 1,000 babies were born on January 1 this year in Cambodia, and their life expectancy of 81 years is significantly higher than the generations before them.

Marking its 75th anniversary, Unicef has dedicated this year to “reimagining a better world for children”, noting in a press release on New Year’s day that an anticipated 371,504 babies would be born worldwide on that day to inaugurate the new year.

Over half of those births were predicted to take place in just 10 countries: India (59,995), China (35,615), Nigeria (21,439), Pakistan (14,161), Indonesia (12,336), Ethiopia (12,006), the US (10,312), Egypt (9,455), Bangladesh (9,236) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (8,640).

Estimates of births and life expectancies in 236 countries and territories were extrapolated based on demographic and household survey data and the UN’s World Population Prospects report from 2019.

Complete data is available on their website, said Bunly Meas, communication specialist for Unicef Cambodia.

He described conditions which contribute to life expectancy estimates, saying greater longevity is made possible when children are given fair and equal opportunities to survive and grow, including exposure to a preserved and unpolluted natural environment.

“From birth, adequate health care, nutrition, vaccines, education from kindergarten, access to clean water and sanitation, protection from abuse and access to legal representation.

“These and other services are constantly improving, ” Meas said.

Foroogh Foyouzat, Unicef representative in Cambodia, welcomed “a thousand beautiful new babies into Cambodia this New Year’s Day”.

Unicef noted that the world still faces unprecedented challenges related to the pandemic, including economic recessions triggered by suspension of civil rights by governments as well as rising poverty and widening income inequality. — The Phnom Penh Post/ANN

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