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World’s Children Gain, Lose, U.N. Says

Vaccination has improved the lives of many children, but malnutrition and poor education are affecting growing numbers, the United Nations said Monday.

Some 80 percent of the world’s children are now immunized against major diseases before their first birthday, but malnutrition rates remain high and school enrollments are static, the organization said in a report measuring progress since the 1990 World Summit for Children.

“The progress achieved so far is a victory for children and all of humanity - because healthy and educated children are the key to future prosperity for all nations,” Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali said.

The number of people without safe access to drinking water fell by one-third between 1990 and 1994 and the mortality rate of children under the age of 5 has been reduced.

But wars, cuts in social services and development aid have exacerbated problems, BoutrosGhali said.

“More than 1.3 billion people still live in absolute poverty - 300 million more than in 1990,” Boutros-Ghali said.

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