Ethiopia has more than halved its mortality rates for children under the age of five years during the last two decades, new UN statistics show.

The report says Ethiopia has cut the number of child deaths to 68 per 1,000 births from more than 200 in 1990.

The government attributed the improved figures to its growing economy.

Despite the reduction, the UN Children's Fund said Ethiopia needed to do much more to improve health facilities for pregnant women.

Ethiopia is one of Africa's poorest states, although it has experienced rapid economic growth in recent years and is one of the continent's leading coffee producers.