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Why UNICEF?


UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive and thrive. We provide children with healthcare and vital vaccinations, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief, and more.


UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children, regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in 190 countries around the world – more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive.


Over the past two decades, UNICEF has helped to reduce the number of children dying each year from preventable causes before reaching their fifth birthday – from 12.7 million in 1990 to 5.9 million today. At UNICEF we believe that every child should be given the opportunity to reach their potential.

UNICEF focuses on six key areas:


Child Survival

Child Survival

At UNICEF, we believe that every child, regardless of circumstances or socioeconomic background, has the right to survive and thrive. Tragically, every year, millions of children's lives are cut short by entirely preventable causes. UNICEF is helping to reduce the under-five mortality rate by increasing the availability of life-saving essentials for children and women's health and by scaling-up nutritional support for millions of undernourished children worldwide.

Child Protection

Child Protection

UNICEF believes that all children have the right to grow up in safety. In 2015, with UNICEF's support, more than 9.7 million children's births were registered in 54 countries, helping to ensure they have access to education, healthcare and other social services throughout their lives. Our programs address every aspect of child protection – from reducing armed violence, to stopping child trafficking and female genital mutilation, to providing psychological support for children in conflict zones.

Emergency

Emergencies

At UNICEF, we know that after a large-scale emergency, acting quickly to restore normalcy for the children affected is vital to their emotional and physical well-being. UNICEF responds to more than 250 emergencies every year, working to ensure that we are building for tomorrow, not just for the needs of today.

Education

Education

UNICEF understands that education is not only a universal right; it's a powerful tool that helps break the cycles of poverty, disease and social inequity. With the support of UNICEF, 40 per cent more children are enrolled in school today than in 2000. Globally, youth literacy rates have increased to 91 per cent in two decades.

HIV and AIDS

HIV and AIDS

The global battle with the HIV and AIDS epidemic is the most significant health challenge of our time. UNICEF is working to ensure that all pregnant women living with HIV are on antiretroviral treatment, to reduce mother-to-child transmission of the virus, to increase treatment for children, and to increase national capacities to support orphans and vulnerable children.

Advocacy

Advocacy

It is vital that children's best interests come first at all times and in all environments. As the only organization named in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF assesses and sheds light on national and international policies that put children at risk. We advance the rights of all children by influencing the decisions of those who set policy and law.

Together, we achieved the following results in 2016:
  • More than 21 million children under age five vaccinated against polio
  • About 895,000 children enrolled in formal education
  • Nearly 370,000 children enrolled in non-formal or informal education
  • More than 1.5 million people given hygiene promotion session and/or a hygiene kit
  • More than 900,000 children and adults participating in child protection and psychosocial support programs

New Story of Hope

New Story of Hope

Conflict has been ravaging the country of Iraq since armed opposition groups commenced a major attack in Mosul in 2014. Over the past year, violence has increased in the western and northern parts of Iraq and humanitarian needs have remained high.


During times of conflict, disruptions to education for children can have long-term consequences on future outcomes both for children and their communities. To ensure continued education for children in Iraq, in 2016, UNICEF provided more than 73,000 boys and girls with access to temporary learning spaces so they could keep learning.


Noor was nine years old when she returned to the classroom in January 2017, when UNICEF supported the reopening of 30 schools for 16,000 children in East Mosul. Many schools in areas under ISIL control had been closed for up to two years. In addition to rehabilitating these buildings, UNICEF also provided services and supplies to ensure children could thrive in the classroom. Teacher trainings, WASH services, accelerated learning programs for students who had missed classes, and awareness campaigns against violence were integrated into schools. Under ISIL control, girls had been prohibited from receiving an education. Now, Noor is continuing to learn. "I am very excited," she said. "Now we can come to school. I thought we'd never be able to come back to school (again)."