United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

Fonds des Nations Unies pour l'enfance
Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para la Infancia

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11 Dec 1946, as United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) -- Fonds international des Nations Unies pour le secours à l'enfance (FISE), by resolution 57 (I) of the UN General Assembly, to provide relief for children in Europe and China in the aftermath of World War II. By resolution 417 (V) of 1 Dec 1950, the UN General Assembly extended the life of the Fund, expanded its scope to give greater emphasis to developing countries and decided to consider its future again at the end of 3 years, with the object of continuing it on a permanent basis. By resolution 802 (VIII) of 6 Oct 1953, the General Assembly voted unanimously to continue the Fund for an indefinite period and shortened its name to United Nations Children's Fund, although the well-known acronym was retained. Within United Nations System, it is an integral part of the United Nations (UN) reporting to the General Assembly through United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).


Guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and other human rights instruments, focus on equity for universal realization of children's rights. In particular: work for the well-being of children and women and advocate the protection of their rights worldwide; establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. Ensure that: children get the best possible start in life in their early years; all boys and girls, no matter how disadvantaged, complete a quality basic education; adolescents have every opportunity to develop their capabilities and participate meaningfully in society.

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Supports community-based programmes in over 150 countries and territories, through an extensive field network and in partnership with governments, local communities, non-governmental organizations, other UN agencies and the private sector.

/Child Survival/ - aiming to end preventable child death to support effective and life-saving actions. Globally the number of children under 5 who died dropped to 6.9 million in 2011, compared to over 12 million in 1990. Works closely with Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) on vaccine supply to developing countries. Partners WHO, UNDP and the World Bank in the 'Roll Back Malaria' campaign to improve prevention and treatment of malaria in affected countries, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.

With other partners: contributes to national efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV; providees paediatric treatment and care; prevents infection among adolescents and young people; protects and cares for children affected by HIV/AIDS. In 2011, 57% of pregnant women with HIV received effective combination antiretrovirals, compared to 11% in 2005, with new infections among children standing at 330,000 compared to 560,000 in 2003.

As part of Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), works with World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and others in countries with high maternal mortality to improve maternal health and prevent maternal mortality. Works with governments and policy makers to ensure that emergency obstetric care is a priority in national health plans.

/Safe drinking water supply and basic sanitation/ Despite the Millennium Development Goal target on drinking water being met in 2010, 783 million people still lack access to improved drinking water and 2,500 million people not having access to improved sanitation. Promotes sustainable safe drinking water supply and basic sanitation and hygiene in developing countries and supports national efforts to invest in a safe, supportive environment for children. Works with key partners towards making schools healthier and more attractive to children, especially girls, through school-based water, sanitation and hygiene programmes. Takes the lead in the provision of water and sanitation services in emergencies and crises around the world. WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation reports on progress towards achieving MDG's goal on sustainable access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation.

/Undernutrition/ Supports national efforts to reduce undernutrition, fortifying some staple foods with such micronutrients as iron and iodine, widening women's access to education, improving household food security and basic health services and promoting sound child care and feeding practices, including breast feeding. Active participant in Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN).

/Poverty Reduction/ Works with governments and partners to achieve United Nations Millennium Development Goals to break the cycle of poverty and bring about sustainable development. Supports developing social protection policies and programmes in over 90 countries.

/Basic Education and Gender/ Works in close cooperation with UNESCO, UNDP and the World Bank to achieve universal access to basic education for all, focusing on girls' education - reducing the number of girls out of school, improving quality, and ensuring primary school completion. Acts as lead agency and Secretariat for United Nations Girls' Education Initiative (UNGEI).

/Child Protection/ Works for the wellbeing and improved protection of children from violence, abuse and exploitation. Advocates adoption of strong protection laws and policies and helps countries implement them. Helps children obtain education and life skills to prevent abuse and exploitation. Promotes full implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict (CRC-OP-AC) and the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography (CRC-OP-SC).

/Emergency/ Between 2006-2012, responded to some 250 humanitarian situations a year, guided by its Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action (CCCs). In partnership with national governments, civil society partners and other UN agencies, works worldwide to protect and support millions of children and women affected by natural disasters or complex emergencies. Provides emergency relief assistance, supports education, health, mine-awareness and psychosocial activities and helps demobilize and rehabilitate child soldiers in areas affected by armed conflict.

/Nobel Peace Prize/ In 1965, received Nobel Peace Prize for achievements in promoting development, peace and children's wellbeing. In 2001, as part of the United Nations family, shared the honour of the UN and its Secretary-General receiving the Nobel Peace Prize for working for a better organized and more peaceful world.


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Relations with Inter-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 59 inter-governmental organizations.
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Relations with Non-Governmental Organizations

Relations with 176 non-governmental organizations.
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Members in 72 countries
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Type I Classification

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Type II Classification

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Subjects *

  • Society
    • Infants
  • Commerce
    • Funds
  • International Relations
    • United Nations

UN Sustainable Development Goals **

GOAL 1: No PovertyGOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 3: Good Health and Well-beingGOAL 4: Quality EducationGOAL 5: Gender EqualityGOAL 6: Clean Water and SanitationGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 9: Industry, Innovation and InfrastructureGOAL 10: Reduced InequalityGOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and CommunitiesGOAL 12: Responsible Consumption and ProductionGOAL 13: Climate ActionGOAL 14: Life Below WaterGOAL 15: Life on LandGOAL 16: Peace and Justice Strong InstitutionsGOAL 17: Partnerships to achieve the Goal



Last News Received

5. Mar 2013
* Subject classification is derived from the organization names and aims.
** UN SDGs are linked to the subject classification.

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