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Education, then, beyond all other devices of human origin, is the great equalizer of the conditions of men -- the balance-wheel of the social machinery
—Horace Mann

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Quick Facts


143 million children in the developing world are orphans, meaning they have lost one or both parents.[1]

15 million children have already lost their parents to HIV/AIDS; by 2010, there will be 20 million orphans from HIV/AIDS.[2]

80 percent of those children who have lost a parent to HIV/AIDS in the developing world live in sub-Saharan Africa.[3]

More than 90 percent of all orphans in sub-Saharan Africa are cared for by extended families, not orphanages.[4]

Orphans throughout the world face many challenges-malnutrition, starvation, abuse, disease, loss of family property, decreased school attendance, and death.[5]


2 million children die from pneumonia each year, making it the leading cause of death in children throughout the world, more than AIDS, Malaria, and measles combined.[6]

2.5 million children (under age 5) died from vaccine-preventable deaths in 2002; 76 percent of these occurred in Africa and Southeast Asia.[7]

2.3 million children under age 15 are living with HIV; every day more than 1400 are newly infected, even though mother-to-child transmission is 98% to 99% preventable when anti-retroviral treatment is taken during pregnancy. [8]

Malaria kills one child in Africa every 30 seconds.[9]

1 in 5 deaths in children under age 5 in Africa are from Malaria.

9.7 million children died before reaching their 5th birthdays in 2006, mostly from preventable causes such as pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria and neonatal causes of death.[10]


146 million children in the developing world, 27 percent, are underweight.[11]

In South Asia, 46 percent of all children under 5 are underweight[12]

Malnutrition, a deficit of essential nutrients, contributes to more than 50 percent of all child deaths in the developing world.[1] Undernutrition-insufficient caloric intake-contributes to 53 percent of all deaths in children 5 and under.[2]


120 million primary school-aged children, primarily girls, are not in school.[3]

Approximately 700,000 new cases of HIV can be prevented each year, if all children receive a complete primary education.[4]


20 million children have been forced to flee their homes because of conflict and human rights violations; more than 1 million of these have be orphaned or separated from their families.[5] Approximately 300,000 children-boys and girls under the age of 18-are involved in conflicts around the world.[6]


40 million children under age 15 suffer from abuse and neglect and require health and social care.[7] Millions of children are being trafficked, forced into debt bondage or other forms of slavery, and forced into prostitution and/or pornography:

  • 0.3 million in armed conflict
  • 1.2 million being trafficked
  • 1.8 million forced into prostitution/pornography[8]


For more information on the plight of orphans and vulnerable children in the developing world, please visit

[1] The World Health Organization
[2] The World Health Organization
[4] Global Campaign for Education
[8] International Labor Organization,
[1] UNICEF, State of the World's Children 2006;
[3] UNICEF, Africa's Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations, 2006
[4] The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria; UNICEF, Africa's Orphaned and Vulnerable Generations 2006
[6] The World Health Organization,
[7] The World Health Organization, Global Immunization data

[8] The World Health Organization; 10 facts on children's health,

[10] UNICEF, The State of the World's Children 2008: Child Survival;
[11] UNICEF, The State of the World's Children 2008: Child Survival;
[12] UNICEF, The State of the World's Children 2008: Child Survival;

Angel Project of the Month

Target Target Gives $1 Million
to The Salvation Army

Malaak and Chris Rock Announce Gift at the Opening of The Bushwick Salvation Army Community Center's Newly Transformed Library

Angel of the Month

Read about Ken Fredman, web developer and marketing executive in Manhattan.

Angel Interview of the Month

Read about Pam Cope, co-founder of the Touch A Life Foundation, in Dallas, TX.

Angel Organizations of the Month

The Denise Amber Lee Foundation
National Organization of the Month

Coaltion to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers
International Organization of the Month

Angel Book of the Month

Stones into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson

Angel Website of the Month

FINCA International provides financial services to the world's lowest-income entrepreneurs.

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