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Data: United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation; Chart: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

A child born today is half as likely to die before the age of 5, compared to if she was born in 2000, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reported.

The big picture: This isn't general global good fortune; rather, it's the result of targeted interventions, costing hundreds of billions of dollars, from GAVI, the Global Fund, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the Global Financing Facility.

  • Every year, more than 6 million children under the age of 5 survive who would have died had they been born in the 1990s. Those kids — especially the girls — are also being educated better than ever before.
  • Saving children's lives is the lowest-hanging fruit in the development world, and we're surprisingly good at it. That's not only fantastic for the children themselves and for their parents, it's also fantastic for their countries' economies.

Why it matters: These figures are worth remembering next time someone tells you that aid doesn't work and that we should all be investing in disruptive innovation and electric cars instead.

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