UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and football star Leo Messi is making an urgent plea to strengthen efforts in child survival to save the lives of thousands of children dying every year from preventable causes.
“We all can help to stop child deaths from preventable causes,” says Mr. Messi. “These children don’t have to die, but they do.”
Despite impressive strides in child survival, some 19,000 children under the age of 5 die every day from causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and measles. These deaths do not have to happen.
Child deaths have fallen dramatically, plummeting from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.9 million in 2011. Progress has been made because the world has not only the knowledge and technology to reach the most vulnerable children with such life-saving interventions as new vaccines and improved healthcare practices, but also the resolute determination of many development actors and members of the international community to save children’s lives.
However, progress continues to elude too many children.
Much more can – and must – be done, which is why Mr. Messi is putting his personal focus on child survival and urging others to do the same.
Leo Messi is a strong advocate for vulnerable children
Named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 2009 and winner of three Golden Ball awards for the best European footballer of the year, Mr. Messi was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in March 2010.
Since then, he has been a strong advocate for some of the world’s most vulnerable children and has visited Argentina, Costa Rica and Haiti to help raise awareness and support for the work of UNICEF and its partners.