“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”, said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said.
As always, the Pacific island nation of Fiji Pacific will welcome the first baby of the new year and the United States the last one.
Over half of these global births are estimated to take place in the 10 countries of India – 59,995; China – 35,615; Nigeria – 21,439; Pakistan – 14,161; Indonesia -12,336; Ethiopia – 12,006 – US (10,312), Egypt – 9,455; Bangladesh – 9,236; and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – 8,640.
In total, UNICEF estimates an 84-year average life expectancy for the 140 million children it projects will be born throughout 2021.
The year will also mark the 75th anniversary of UNICEF.
Over the course of 2021, UNICEF and its partners will be commemorating the milestone anniversary with events and announcements celebrating three-quarters of a century of protecting children from conflict, disease and exclusion, and championing their right to survival, health and education.
“Children born today will inherit the world we begin to build for them today”, reminded the UNICEF chief.
“Let us make 2021 the year we start to build a fairer, safer, healthier world for children”, she added.
Meanwhile, as the number of COVID-19 cases continue to soar, so do the needs of children and their families, the UN agency said.
From delivering life-saving health supplies, to building water and hygiene facilities, to keeping girls and boys connected to education and protection, UNICEF is working to slow the spread of the pandemic and minimize its impact on children worldwide.