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Expand chart
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.

Go deeper

Scoop: USAID chief tests positive for coronavirus

An Air Force cargo jet delivers USAID supplies to Russia earlier this year. Photo: Mikhail Metzel/TASS via Getty Images

The acting administrator of the United States Agency for International Development informed senior staff Wednesday he has tested positive for coronavirus, two sources familiar with the call tell Axios.

Why it matters: John Barsa, who staffers say rarely wears a mask in their office, is the latest in a series of senior administration officials to contract the virus. His positive diagnosis comes amid broader turmoil at the agency following the election.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
2 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 shows a bright future for vaccines

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Promising results from COVID-19 vaccine trials offer hope not just that the pandemic could be ended sooner than expected, but that medicine itself may have a powerful new weapon.

Why it matters: Vaccines are, in the words of one expert, "the single most life-saving innovation ever," but progress had slowed in recent years. New gene-based technology that sped the arrival of the COVID vaccine will boost the overall field, and could even extend to mass killers like cancer.

4 hours ago - Health

Beware a Thanksgiving mirage

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Don't be surprised if COVID metrics plunge over the next few days, only to spike next week.

Why it matters: The COVID Tracking Project warns of a "double-weekend pattern" on Thanksgiving — where the usual weekend backlog of data is tacked on to a holiday.