--UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken with Somali infant, June 2008
(© US Fund for UNICEF/Nick Ysenburg)
UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken today launched a campaign aimed at making sure no child dies of preventable illnesses.
Here's how you can help!
Blogging at UNICEF Field Notes, Aiken writes:
Did you know that approximately 25,000 children die each day before their fifth birthday, largely due to preventable causes? Thanks to organizations like UNICEF this number is getting smaller every day. Last year, the number of child deaths worldwide declined to about 9.2 million. In 1990, that number was 12.7 million. That's definite progress, but that number should be zero.
As truly remarkable as it is that UNICEF and other organizations have been able to reduce the number of children who die from preventable illnesses by three and a half million a year in a little less than two decades, it is completely unacceptable that tens of thousands of children continue to die needlessly each and every day, children who could be saved for pennies.
During this worldwide economic crisis, many are looking for ways to save money, not to spend more. I'd like to propose that by pledging as little as a few dollars a month to UNICEF's life-saving programs, millions of dollars can be saved: dollars that would go to military intervention when struggling nations erupt into violence over meager supplies, dollars that would be spent to feed and house millions of refugees forced to flee the desperation of their homelands, dollars that would go to feeble attempts to prevent the spread of what could become a worldwide pandemic rather than taking preventative steps such as eradicating malaria.
The headlines can be bleak, and it is easy to think that it is hopeless. But thanks to UNICEF's child survival strategy, preventable child deaths have declined 27 percent since 1990 and more than 60 percent since 1960 --- proof positive that every penny donated can saves lives.
Don't let another day go by without making an effort to save a child. Whether you have five dollars a month to pledge, $50, $500 or $5,000, every dollar makes a difference.
Even a small amount makes a huge difference. For instance, $5 a month (about 15¢ per day) can ensure five children are protected from measles.--- Clay Aiken
If we could all make this small commitment we may be able to see the day when no child dies of a preventable cause.
You can save a child's life for the price of a cup of coffee. Join Clay and UNICEF and pledge today.
WHATEVER IT TAKES TO SAVE A CHILD.
--- New dad Clay Aiken with his son Parker, September 2008
(Good Morning America/abc News)
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