All children deserve a healthy start in life.

As a global leader in child health, Save the Children keeps children healthy and thriving. 

We led the massive worldwide effort that helped reduce newborn deaths by over 40% since 2000, saving 1.5 million babies each year. Still, an estimated 5.3 million young children die each year from entirely preventable diseases, such as pneumonia, malaria and diarrhea. 

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, health systems around the world are overwhelmed. Children’s access to routine health services and nutritious food is in danger. High levels of hunger and malnutrition have also been exacerbated by the pandemic. 

We know the world’s children deserve better. As the world’s leading expert on childhood, we have the expertise and the global presence to deliver what’s needed now for children.

Lifesaving services are not reaching the children most in need.

 Although children are not at a high risk of direct harm from COVID-19, they are disproportionately affected by its hidden impacts. Even before the pandemic, 135 million people were already experiencing acute food insecurity.
A baby in Yemen receives care from a medial worker.
  • Every year, undernutrition contributes to 3 million child deaths worldwide.
  • 1 in 4 children under age five have stunted growth due to malnutrition.
  • In Yemen, 85,000 children under the age of 5 may have died from extreme hunger or disease since the war started.
  • 1 in 5 children in America struggle with hunger.
  • Every 39 seconds, a child dies from pneumonia.
  • An estimated 80 million children are at risk of being left unvaccinated following the pandemic.

Save the Children ensures mothers, babies and children have access to health and nutrition services.

•  We have helped cut the number of children dying before age 5 by over half since 1990, saving 122 million lives.

•  We helped reduced by one-third the number of children stunted from malnutrition since 2000. Today, there are 49 million fewer stunted children.

•  We transformed the way health care is delivered in the world’s hardest to reach places by pioneering programs that treat children close to home, so they receive lifesaving care before it’s too late.

•  Today, millions more children in America are struggling with hunger. We are working to make sure kids can get the nutrition they need to thrive as learners and in life, with 20 million meals distributed in 2020. From September 2020 through May 2021, we participated in USDA's Farmers to Families Food Box program. Over 600,000 food boxes filled with about 30 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked meat, eggs, milk, and other dairy products were distributed in rural communities in seven states. Read the final impact report here.

Learn more about our work to ensure every child has a healthy start in life.

An 8-month old baby smiles while sitting on a hospital bed with his mother in Bangladesh.


Every 39 seconds, a child dies from pneumonia. Pneumonia is preventable and treatable yet remains the #1 infectious cause of preventable child deaths.

A mother holds her baby.

Child Hunger and Famine

Even before the pandemic, 135 million people globally had been facing acute food shortages. Now, 130 million more could go hungry in 2020. An estimated 265 million people could be pushed to the brink of starvation by the end of 2020.

A boy wears a red Save the Children hat and a cloth face mask while standing outside.

COVID-19 Pandemic

In fragile places like conflict zones, refugee camps and overcrowded communities, where people are already struggling to survive, COVID-19 could have a devastating impact.
Two boys stand with a bucket in a drought-affected area in the Horn of Africa

Climate Crisis

Delayed, erratic and unpredictable rains across the Horn of Africa, caused by our changing climate, have forced families from their homes. The desperate search for food and water has put millions of children’s lives and futures at risk.

Learn more about our health programs.

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