As the clock struck midnight ushering in 2019, revelers around the world greeted the New Year — and also the planet's newest and tiniest residents. More than 395,000 babies were born on New Year's Day, 2019. Families welcomed their little Alexanders and Ayeshas, Zixuans and Zainabs, with love and hope for a happy, healthy life.
Over the past three decades, the world has seen unprecedented progress in child survival, cutting in half the number of children worldwide who die before their fifth birthday. But there has been slower progress for newborns.
Every year, some 2.5 million babies don't live to see their one-month birthday. Most die from preventable causes such as premature birth, complications during delivery and infections like sepsis and pneumonia. Millions of young lives could be saved each year if mothers and babies had affordable, quality health care, good nutrition and clean, safe water.
UNICEF is working to make sure these basics are within reach of the mothers and babies who need them most. UNICEF's Every Child Alive campaign calls for immediate investment to deliver affordable, quality health care solutions for every mother and newborn. Because every child deserves a chance to thrive.
COTE D'IVOIRE This 9-pound baby boy was only a few minutes old when this photo was taken. His mother, Aicha Koné, was the first to give birth on January 1, 2019 at the Hospital of Port Bouet, a suburb of Abidjan, the capital of Côte d'Ivoire. Koné said, "He's really a big boy, and I hope he will be strong and have a good life." © UNICEF/UN0269314/DeJongh
AUSTRALIA Exhausted after a long labor, Lillian McDougall holds her newborn baby boy, Lincoln, at the Canberra Centenary Hospital for Women and Children in Canberra, Australia. McDougall said that she hoped that her son was happy and that the world was happy for him. © UNICEF/UN0269413/Graham AFP-Services
INDIA Alka's baby girl was born 20 minutes after midnight at Lady Harding Medical College in New Delhi, India. Alka, 29, and the baby's father, Thakur, say their 6-pound baby girl is the best possible New Year's gift and blessing. They look forward to consulting their priest before naming the baby, to give her an auspicious start in life. © UNICEF/UN0269337/Mukherjee AFP-Services
CHINA Newborn baby girl Li Xin Yao is dressed and swaddled, after being born by cesarian section on New Year's Day at the Beijing United Family Hospital in Beijing, China. Li Xin Yao was born to her mother Xu Hui, father Li Min, and her older sister Li Xin Rui. Mother Xu Hui said, "I only wish for my daughter to have a peaceful and healthy life. It’s not easy to have a child like this, over the age of 30, but I feel very fortunate, and wish everyone a happy new year." © UNICEF/UN0269297/Berkovich AFP-Services
INDONESIA A newborn baby girl waits to be given a name by her parents, Putri Retno Galih and Reza Gilang Pramono, in the Ruman Awal Bros Hospital in Bekasi, West Java, Indonesia. "I never thought of being a mother. I was always afraid of holding a baby," said Galih. "But now I realize that being a mother is the greatest gift from Allah that I will not exchange for anything." © UNICEF/UN0269480/Albaba AFP-Services
BRAZIL Baby Julia was born by cesarian section at one minute past midnight to mother Viviane Dos Santos Reis and father Rafael da Silva at the Hospital Sofia Feldman in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Rafael said he is very, very hopeful about providing a future for his daughter. © UNICEF/UN0269552/Fontes AFP-Services
NIGERIA Basirat Adegbesan holds her newborn baby at Lagos Island Maternity Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital. Born at midnight, the 8-pound baby is Basirat and father Wasiu's fourth child. "Glory to God for helping me to deliver safely," said Adegbasan. "I was not expecting it today, but God made me deliver the first baby of the year. The baby means joy and good wishes." © UNICEF/UN0269403/Ekpei AFP-Services
PALESTINE Mother Samia cradles her newborn baby boy, Mohammed, at Al Shifaa hospital in Gaza City in the State of Palestine. Mohammed was born to Samia and father Moamen at 7:30 AM on January 1, 2019. "Nothing can describe how happy I am but I’m worried about my baby’s future,” said Samia. © UNICEF/UN0269480/Albaba AFP-Services
"American babies born in 2019 are estimated to live until 2099, but we want to see a world where all babies can live the same long and healthy lives," said Caryl M. Stern, President and CEO of UNICEF USA. "Being born on a celebrated day like New Year's Day is random chance. But so is where you are born, and New Year's Day is a reminder of how fortunate we are here in the United States, and what more we can do to save the lives of newborns everywhere."
UNICEF and partners are working tirelessly in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, Bangladesh and around the world to save and protect children. With a presence in 190 countries and territories, UNICE has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world.
Photo at top: On January 1, 2019 in Ukraine, a newborn baby boy lies on a bed at the Kyiv perinatal center in Kyiv. The 8-pound infant was born to mother Iryna Dyshlevich, 31, and father Yevgen Petryk. "He is a darling little man." said Dyshlevich, proudly. "I expect my son to grow up a true man: honest, caring, happy and healthy. The latter is the most important." © UNICEF/UN0269464/Savilov AFP-Services