UNICEF UK Ambassador Martin Bell (second from left) and colleagues.
Martin Bell was a BBC war correspondent and has covered some of the world's most difficult and dangerous news stories. He became an independent MP in 1997.
This year, Mr. Bell travelled to Afghanistan for the second time in his capacity as UNICEF UK Ambassador for Humanitarian Emergencies. He saw vaccination programmes in Kandahar, met with street children in Kabul and visited women’s prisons in Herat.
Mr. Bell has written two reports for UNICEF, 'Child Alert: DRC' and most recently 'Child Alert: Afghanistan'.
From soldering in Cyprus in 1957 to visiting Afghanistan for UNICEF in 2007, Mr. Bell has spent half a century in the unquiet corners of the world, including 100 countries and 13 war zones.
"Being a UNICEF ambassador has been the greatest privilege of my life – but the challenges it offers are nowhere greater than in Afghanistan," he says. "The progress made since 2002 is now being turned back as the security situation worsens. Girls are especially vulnerable as schools close or are intimidated into closure. The UNICEF Child Alert which I have written is the portrait of a society on the brink."