Health and well-being

Every day 17,000 fewer children die than in 1990, but more than five million children die each year before their fifth birthday.


Ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages is essential for sustainable development.

Today, the world is facing an unprecedented global health crisis; COVID-19 is spreading human suffering, destabilising the global economy and dramatically changing the lives of billions of people around the world.

Prior to the pandemic, great strides were made in improving the health of millions of people. In particular, these great strides were achieved by increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common causes of death associated with infant and maternal mortality. However, further efforts are needed to completely eradicate a wide range of diseases and address a large number of ongoing and emerging health problems. Through more efficient financing of health systems, improved sanitation and hygiene, and greater access to medical personnel, significant progress can be made in helping to save the lives of millions of people.

Health emergencies, such as the one resulting from COVID-19, pose a global risk and have shown that preparedness is vital. The United Nations Development Programme noted the wide differences in countries' capacities to deal with and recover from the COVID-19 crisis. The pandemic is a turning point in terms of preparedness for health emergencies and investment in vital public services in the 21st century.