One in four deaths among children is due to pollution

According to new reports published by the World Health Organization, pollution is accountable for a quarter of deaths among all children under five, being lack of sanitation, unsafe water and toxic air the main causes.

The WHO insisted that contaminated environments generate up to 1.7 million deaths among children every year. Nevertheless, a great number of them could be successfully prevented by global interventions already well-known.

Latest reports warn that pollution dramatically increases the risk of suffering from pneumonia and other chronic lung conditions such as asthma. Moreover it may raise the risk of heart diseases and cancer.

Air pollution is uprising at an alarming rate around the world, with most of large cities covered by unhealthy air. In fact, almost two billion children actually live in places where air pollution exceeds limits implemented by the World Health Organization.

Global education in the spotlight

United Nations education envoy Gordon Brown affirmed on Friday before launching a plan for the largest educational expansion in history that education is definitely the “civil rights struggle of our generation”.

Brown leads currently the international commission on financing global education opportunity according to which, under the new global development goals agreed last year, all children should be receiving primary and secondary education by the year 2030. Nevertheless, presenting the commission’s findings at the UN in New York, he admitted that $30 bn in additional funding was needed in order to achieve the goal of ensuring a full primary and secondary education for every child in the world.

Unless there is a major sudden transformation in education funding, almost half of the world’s children will face the probability of growing up without decent schooling. Gordon Brown affirms that states need to increase their investments in education as well as that it is essential to promote a significant reform of international institutions so as to deliver effective funds into schooling.

Finally, he also remarked the need of an emergency injection of $400m for the 30 million refugee children around the world who are in need of urgent and proper education.