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September 5, 2009

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UNICEF hails China's efforts on kids, women

CHINA had made enormous progress for children and women, Saad Houry, deputy executive director of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, said in Beijing yesterday.

At the 30th anniversary marking cooperation between UNICEF and the government of China, Houry said "the progress that China has made for children and women is enormous and internationally recognized."

According to UNICEF statistics, in a comparison with 1990 figures, China has had a two-fold increase in hospital delivery rates, and an increase in antenatal care coverage to more than 90 percent.

China has improved access to drinking water in rural areas and sanitary latrines and reduced child malnutrition, specifically, the proportion of underweight children, by more than half.

China had also increased the percentage of households consuming iodized salt from below 40 percent in the mid 1990s to 94 percent today, protecting children from the risk of mental deficiencies, said UNICEF's representative to China, Yin Yin Nwe.

In developing countries elsewhere, some 22 percent of all children of primary school age did not attend school, while in China, the net enrolment ration was more than 99.5 percent, she said.

Houry attributes the progress that China has made largely to the investment in children, primarily in health, education and nutrition.

He put China's implementing of the National Plan of Action for Children, China's improving of women's status, as "best practices," for other developing countries.


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