Monday, March 8

60,000 babies born in India on New Year’s Day this year, 7K less than previous year: Unicef

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With the birth of nearly 60,000 babies, India will see the highest number of births on New Year’s Day 2021 across the globe. However, it is 7,390 less than the number of births on the first day of 2020.

This will be followed by China with half as many births – 35,615 – on January 1 this year, as estimated by the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

The Unicef estimates that 371,504 babies will be born across the world on this day. Of these, 52% of the births will take place in just 10 countries.

This year, 140 million children are likely to be born across the globe with an average life expectancy of 84 years.

“The children born today enter a world far different than even a year ago, and a New Year brings a new opportunity to reimagine it. Today, as the world faces a global pandemic, economic slowdown, rising poverty and deepening inequality, the need for Unicef’s work is as great as ever,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore. This year will mark the 75th anniversary of the organisation.

Just as a comparison, the number of children estimated to be born this year is almost 78 times the number of people who have died of coronavirus disease (Covid-19) across the globe so far.

In India, the life expectancy of the babies born in 2021 will be 80.9 years, which is three years less than the global average. However, an additional 1,000 babies survive each day in India due to interventions by the government such as establishing Special Newborn Care Units (SNCU). A million newborns with special needs survive each year because of the 320 district level SNCUs set up by the government between 2014 and 2020.

“Anticipating and addressing the potential impact of the pandemic is crucial if we are to prevent a rollback of gains made in saving the lives of children. As we do so, we must also think long-term, to build back a better world when the crisis finally recedes. The pandemic has shown us the need for systems and policies to be in place to protect people all the time, not just in the event of a crisis. Under its Reimagine campaign, Unicef appeals to governments, private sector entities, donors and all partners to join hands and lay the groundwork for building back better, to assure every child’s right to survive and thrive is protected and promoted at all times,” said Dr Yasmin Ali Haque, Unicef India Country Representative.