Publication site : UNICEF
Date of publication : 2019
Type of publication : Country Profile
Cabo Verde is a small developing island state (SIDS). Its population is approximately 537,661 people, of which 267,570 are women (49.8%) and 28.6% are children under the age of 14. The country is known for its strong political governance and development course, which inspires confidence in development partners. The country graduated from the Least Developed Country (LDC) list at the end of 2007 due to its good performance in terms of human development and economic growth. Inequality has decreased according to the Gini index from 53 in 2001 to 42 in 2015. Life expectancy is 73 years, the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa and on a par with Mauritius and Seychelles. The country has experienced a great dynamic of economic growth, passing from a GDP growth of 1% in 2015 to 6% in 2019. It is one of the main tourist destinations on the African continent.
Life expectancy is 73 years, the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa
However, despite this success, there are still a considerable number of development challenges. Although poverty has declined, it still remains considerable with a rate of 35.2% (10.6% extreme poverty). There is substantial and particularly high unemployment among young people (25,7%) and women (11,9%) compared to the national average of 10,7% in first quarter 2019. The uneven spatial distribution of tourism development reflects the accentuated regional differences in poverty rates, human development and access to employment. With an economy depending on tourism, emigrant remittances and preferential financing, Cabo Verde is extremely vulnerable to both global economic shocks and natural disasters. Despite this, Cabo Verde has impressively achieved most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG´s) in 2015. More, the country has a successful history of South-South and triangular cooperation.
Child Profile in Cape Verde
With regard to child health, a reduction in infant mortality from 24.9 (2008) to 15.8 (2017) can be observed. Perinatal infections continue to be the main causes of infant mortality, followed by congenital, infectious and parasitic anomalies which also suffered slight increases in the period. The reduction in mortality in the 0-1 year range is an advance because it is the major component in terms of infant mortality (under 5 years), accounting for about 85% of deaths in this age group, especially in rural areas. With this, there has been a great reduction in the probability of a 1-year old child dying before reaching the age of 5 in Cape Verde, with mortality between 0-5 years of age falling from 28.1 in 2008 to 17.0 in 2018.
Maternal mortality has fluctuated over the years
On the other hand, maternal mortality has fluctuated over the years. It should be noted that the small population of the country does not allow for a better sizing of the data, considering the denominator per 100,000. The improvement in these mortality indicators is partly related to free access to prenatal and vaccination services. In the area of malnutrition, Cape Verde has made considerable progress, reflected in the reduction of the acute malnutrition rate from 5.2% (2009) to 4.4% (2018) and chronic malnutrition from 13.3% (2009) to 11.0% (2018). Still, one of the biggest challenges facing children under 5 in the field of nutrition is the high prevalence of anaemia, which affects 43% of children.
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