The UN's children agency, UNICEF, is warning world leaders that if they do not address global inequality, 69 million children under the age of five will die from preventable causes by 2030.
The UN report paints a bleak picture for the prospects of disadvantaged youngsters.
UNICEF says 167 million children are expected to be living in poverty by 2030, and by that time 750 million women will have been married when they were children.
"Invest in children now, or allow our world to become still more unequal and divided," says the director of UNICEF.
Education is critical to ending recurring cycles of poverty, says UNICEF. About 124 million children do not go to primary or lower-secondary school now.
Some progress is being made. Global mortality rates for under fives have halved since the 1990s. And boys and girls attend primary schools in equal numbers in 129 countries.
What needs to be done to save the world's children?
Presenter: Martine Dennis
Hussaini Abdu - country director of Plan International in Nigeria
Jennifer Kaberi - child development specialist at Children Agenda Forum Kenya
Kevin Watkins - executive director of the Overseas Development Institute
Source: Al Jazeera