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In the past two decades, countries in the UNECE region witnessed a remarkable decline in infant mortality from around 30% in Uzbekistan to nearly 80% in Turkey. Thus, the countries made a huge  step towards the fourth Millennium Development Goal of reducing child mortality.

However, the gap in the infant mortality rates remains large between the different UNECE subregions. For example, although Tajikistan showed a 40% reduction in infant mortality from twenty years ago, the mortality there now is still 13 times the average level of the current EU Member States. This is up from 9 times the EU average in 1990 because the reduction of the infant mortality in the EU was more rapid than in Tajikistan.

The most impressive drop of infant mortality occurred in Turkey. In 1990, Turkey had the highest rates of infant mortality in the UNECE region, along with Central Asian and Caucasus countries. Almost 80% decline in 20 years brought Turkey close to the level of Eastern European countries such as the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Although the relative improvements in countries of Central Asia and Caucasus were significant, these countries remain the group with highest infant mortality in the UNECE region.

Source: UNECE Statistical Database