The brain develops most rapidly in the first five years of a child’s life. Yet, worldwide, 250 million children are not reaching their potential during these years. In 2015, an estimated six million children died before reaching age five, mostly as a result of diseases which are readily and affordably preventable and treatable. In developing countries, hundreds of millions of children do not have access to pre-school; they live in areas affected by armed conflict and climate-related disasters; and their growth is stunted, which harms their brain development.
The Aga Khan Foundation (AKF) works to ensure that girls and boys have a good start in life by influencing the environments in which they are growing. Globally, AKDN’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) initiatives provide 750,000 children ages 0-8 years with nurturing, relevant and quality learning opportunities at costs that are affordable for governments, families and communities.