Press releases and news notes
Child survival & development
UNICEF and The Philips Foundation, together with partners, launch the Maternal and Newborn Health Innovations Project
NEW YORK, 23 September 2015 – UNICEF and The Philips Foundation, together with Concern Worldwide, Maker and Gearbox, have launched the Maternal and Newborn Health Innovations Project, to help save lives and improve the health of pregnant women and children in Kenya.
Shakira and UNICEF call for leaders to join the early childhood revolution
NEW YORK, 22 September 2015 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira today urged global leaders to invest heavily in early childhood development in the wake of new science that is creating a revolutionary shift in our understanding of the lasting effects of deprivation and stress on the developing brains of young children.
Progress made but more to be done to ensure all children are born free of HIV & syphilis in Asia-Pacific: UN
BANGKOK, Thailand, 14 September 2015 - The Asia–Pacific region has made significant progress in efforts to eliminate HIV and syphilis, but thousands of mothers and children have yet to feel the benefits.
Nearly 50 million lives saved since 2000; millions more can be saved by 2030: UNICEF report
NEW YORK, 9 September 2015 - The rate of decline in mortality among the world’s youngest children has more than doubled over a generation, and an additional 38 million lives could be saved by 2030 if progress accelerates further, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) world leaders are set to approve later this month.
UN Messenger of Peace Lang Lang wants every child to get the best start in life
BEIJING, 15 June 2015 – United Nations Messenger of Peace and world renowned pianist, Lang Lang, added his voice to ensure every child has the best start in life and make early childhood development a global priority, as he joined UNICEF’s early childhood development campaign.
Children face worsening nutrition crisis as South Sudan fighting intensifies
JUBA, South Sudan, 27 May 2015 – The lives of nearly a quarter of a million children are at significant risk as food and nutrition security rapidly deteriorate in parts of South Sudan, UNICEF said today. The crisis comes as a result of ongoing conflict, diminished household food stocks and a shrinking economy.
Every Newborn Action Plan Progress Report, Strategies toward Ending Preventable Maternal Mortality launch at 68th World Health Assembly
GENEVA, Switzerland, 19 May 2015 — Since the Every Newborn Action Plan (ENAP) was endorsed at the World Health Assembly one year ago, 15 of the 18 countries with some of the highest burden of maternal and newborn mortality have taken steps to improve care for mothers and their newborns.
Immunization drive under way for 3 million children in Ebola-hit countries
DAKAR/GENEVA, 24 April 2015 – For the first time since the start of the Ebola outbreak, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are conducting major nationwide immunization campaigns to protect millions of children against preventable but potentially deadly diseases.
Malaria kills 1,200 children a day: UNICEF
NEW YORK, 23 April 2015 – Ahead of World Malaria Day, UNICEF’s ‘Facts about Malaria and Children’ shows the extensive impact of the disease on children and on pregnant women around the world.
Nearly 8 million children in Sudan to be immunized against measles following deadly outbreak – UNICEF
KHARTOUM, Sudan/ GENEVA / NAIROBI 22 April 2015 – Following one of the worst measles outbreaks in Sudan’s recent history, the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF, the Measles and Rubella Initiative (M&RI) and national partners, is launching a massive campaign to immunize 7.9 million children aged six months to 15 years against this life-threatening disease.
New fund aims to unlock $1 billion for children’s nutrition
WASHINGTON D.C., 16 April 2015 - The Power of Nutrition, a new independent fund launched today, will help millions of children reach their full potential. Backed by leading organisations from private philanthropy and international development, the partnership aims to unlock one billion dollars to tackle child undernutrition in some of the world’s poorest countries.
Leaders pledge to put early child development at the centre of sustainable development
NEW YORK, 23 September 2014 – Today, world leading scientists and economists, along with high-level representatives from business, civil society, academia, UN agencies and a host of countries, committed to making early childhood development central to sustainable development at a breakfast meeting for champions of early childhood development (ECD), on the occasion of the United Nations General Assembly.
Despite dramatic progress on child survival, 1 million children die during their first day of life from mostly preventable causes
New York, 16 September 2014 – Child survival rates have increased dramatically since 1990, during which time the absolute number of under-five deaths has been slashed in half from 12.7 million to 6.3 million, according to a report released today by UNICEF.
Pre-embargo briefing on latest child mortality figures and how faster progress can be achieved
NEW YORK, 12 September, 2014 - Briefing on latest global, regional and national child mortality estimates and UNICEF’s annual A Promise Renewed report.
Progress for children in South Asia, but inequalities still exist: UNICEF report
New York, 11 September 2014 – According to a new UNICEF report released today, over the last 25 years, there has been progress in the health and well-being of children in South Asia, but glaring inequalities remain.
More than 3 million children in Thailand do not live with their parents: UNICEF
BANGKOK, Thailand, 23 June 2014 - About 21 per cent of children or more than three million children in Thailand do not live with either of their parents due to internal migration, a significant phenomenon that may have a long-term impact on the children’s development and well-being, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said today.
New Yemen report shows girls lagging behind
SANA’A, Yemen, 17 June 2014 – Girls in Yemen continue to lag behind boys, with fewer chances to go to school and reach their potential and increased vulnerability to early marriage and maternal mortality, according to new research by UNICEF and the Government of Yemen launched today.
Going the last mile for children in China
BEIJING, 16 May 2014 - At the conclusion of a five day visit to China, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake commended the Government of China for its commitment to address socio-economic disparities facing the country. He also discussed with the Government, the continued need to prioritize efforts to reduce inequity, especially for children in the remotest corners of the country.
Urgent Supplies Reach Remote Areas in South Sudan, with Joint Operation
JUBA, South Sudan, 28 March 2014 – An urgent operation to deliver food, vaccines, nutrition supplements and other vital relief supplies to one of the most isolated areas of conflict-affected South Sudan has begun today, as part of a joint response by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
Japanese Government supports UNICEF’s programmes in Yemen
SANA’A, Yemen, 20 March 2014 – The Government of Japan has announced significant new funding to support UNICEF’s programmes for women and children in Yemen.
New handbook to enhance new-born and child care in Liberia
MONROVIA, Liberia, 4 February 2014 – Over 30 community health workers, county health directors, senior health ministry officials and programme staff are field testing the new World Health Organization/UNICEF handbook on new born and child care. The three-day workshop is facilitated by experts from UNICEF, WHO and Save the Children.
UNICEF’s latest data reveal disparities, show need to innovate to advance children’s rights
NEW YORK, 30 January 2014 – Declaring that 'every child counts', UNICEF today urged greater effort and innovation to identify and address the gaps that prevent the most disadvantaged of the world's 2.2 billion children from enjoying their rights.
Some 35 million more children under five at risk if child mortality goal not met
NEW YORK, 13 September 2013 - A new UNICEF report shows that if current trends continue, the world will not meet Millennium Development Goal 4 – to cut the rate of under-five mortality by two-thirds by 2015. Worse, if current trends continue, the goal will not be reached until 2028.
UN: Global child deaths down by almost half since 1990
NEW YORK, 13 September 2013 – In 2012, approximately 6.6 million children worldwide – 18,000 children per day – died before reaching their fifth birthday, according to a new report released today by UNICEF, the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank Group and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division. This is roughly half the number of under-fives who died in 1990, when more than 12 million children died.
Media advisory: UNICEF, WHO expert briefing on release of global under-five child mortality numbers
What: A telephone briefing to release the latest global and regional data on child mortality and neo-natal deaths from 1990, when data collection began, to 2013. The new figures contain new perspectives on issues such as the acceleration of progress in some regions, differences between poor and rich countries, the number of children at risk if goals are not met, and much more.
Syria conflict leaves invisible scars on children
AMMAN/GENEVA, 10 September 2013 – Prolonged exposure to violence and stress, multiple displacement, loss of friends and family members, and a severe deterioration in living conditions are leaving the children of Syria with lasting scars, UNICEF said today.
UNICEF Continues Massive Humanitarian Operation for Syria’s Children
AMMAN, 4 September 2013 - Amidst heightened tensions across the region and as the number of Syria’s refugees rises beyond 2 million – half of them children – UNICEF continues to provide urgent life-saving supplies to children inside Syria and in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.
Conflict creating unprecedented threats to children’s lives
NEW YORK, 12 June 2013 – Children living in armed conflict today face unprecedented threats. These include grave violations such as the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, sexual violence against children, killing and maiming of children, and recurrent attacks on hospitals and schools.
Child well-being - progress in danger?
FLORENCE/BRUSSELS/DUBLIN 10 April 2013 – A timely study on child well-being in rich countries, launched today by UNICEF’s Office of Research, finds that the Netherlands and four Nordic countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden – again sit at the top of a child well-being table; whilst four southern European countries – Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain – are placed in the bottom half of the table.
Findings launched of major survey of children and women in Iraq
BAGHDAD, 12 December 2012 – The Government of Iraq and UNICEF today launched the results of the most comprehensive survey on the situation of...
850,000 children treated in Sahel for severe acute malnutrition in 2012: UNICEF
DAKAR/GENEVA, 11 December 2012 – A UNICEF progress report says that more than 850,000 children are expected to have received life-saving treatment...
Amid conflict and displacement, Syrian children receive lifesaving vaccinations
DAMASCUS, 7 December 2012 – An emergency vaccination campaign is under way in Syria to protect young children against measles and polio, diseases that...
100 millionth person receives lifesaving meningitis vaccine
GENEVA, 3 December 2012 – A revolutionary meningitis vaccine will reach the 100 millionth person this week in a region of Africa that has been plagued by...
UNICEF scales-up response, calls for stronger combat against child malnutrition in Rakhine State
Rakhine State, MYANMAR, 23 November 2012 - While precise information about nutrition levels in Myanmar’s Rakhine State is still difficult to obtain...
Prevention of water-borne diseases and support for malnourished children a priority for UNICEF in Rakhine State, Myanmar
BANGKOK, 13 November 2012 - Since unrest broke out in Rakhine State in Myanmar in June, UNICEF has provided urgently needed help to save severely...
Pneumonia still number one killer
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, 12 November 2012 – Marking the fourth annual World Pneumonia Day, November 12th, world leaders and the Global...
Maternal and neonatal tetanus eliminated in China
BEIJING, 5 November 2012 – China has been declared free of one of the world’s major causes of preventable death of mothers and newborns...
Vaccine suppliers integral to achieving polio free world
COPENHAGEN, 24 October 2012 - On World Polio Day, UNICEF has commended the continued contribution of industry to global polio eradication efforts...
UN Commission sets out plan to make life-saving health supplies more accessible
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK, 26 September2012 – A new plan and set of recommendations to improve the supply and access of life-saving health supplies...
Eighty-six percent decline in measles cases brings Western Pacific Region closer than ever to measles elimination
ATLANTA/GENEVA/NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, 12 September 2012 - Measles cases are at an historic low in the Western Pacific Region and it’s making...
UNICEF supplies to help 120,000 people in northern Mali against cholera
BAMAKO, 16 July 2012 – UNICEF is sending 20,000 water, sanitation and hygiene kits to the North of Mali as part of its emergency response to a cholera...
UNICEF combats malnutrition in Pakistan with EU support
BRUSSELS, 22 June 2012 – UNICEF has received 3 million euro (USD$3.7 million) from the European Commission to combat malnutrition among women and...
WFP, UNICEF WHO and FAO Hail REACH Initiative on child undernutrition as foundation for sustainable development goals
RIO DE JANEIRO, 20 June 2012 – Rio + 20 presents an opportunity for agreement on the future we want. It is a future that will be determined by global...
How to meet 111 million children in four days
BRAZZAVILLE/DAKAR, 21 March 2012 - Health Ministries, UN agencies and communities are uniting with tens of thousands of volunteer immunizers over...
Yemen - nationwide measles campaign launched as child deaths from the disease increase
SANA’A, 10 March 2012 - The Government of Yemen in collaboration with UNICEF, WHO, USAID, ICRC and other partners today launched a...
Mia Farrow calls for better protection of children against polio and violence in the DRC
BUKAVU / NEW YORK - 22 February 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow wrapped up her visit to the Democratic Republic of the...
Mia Farrow launches polio vaccination campaign in Chad
N’DJAMENA, Chad 17 February 2012 – UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow participated today in the launching ceremony of the national polio...
Join Mia Farrow at Google Plus Hang Out from DR Congo
Measles Initiative hails GAVI decision to fund Rubella campaigns
DHAKA, Bangladesh, 17 November 2011 - Today the Measles Initiative applauds the GAVI Alliance board decision to fund rubella campaigns in the countries...
Most difficult place to grow up: Somalia has the world’s highest child mortality rate
NAIROBI, Kenya, 16 September 2011 – Stricken by chronic conflict and recurring drought for decades, Somalia now has the world’s highest mortality rate for children under the age of five...
UNICEF starts food voucher and cash transfer programme southern Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya, 13 September 2011 – UNICEF and its partners are striving to reach children and their families affected by famine and drought in southern Somalia...
Uganda announces elimination of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus
KAMPALA/Uganda, 13 July 2011 – Uganda today announced that it has eliminated maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). The country is the 20th to do...
Japan donates $5 million in support of UNICEF programmes in Niger for child malnutrition, malaria, diarrhea and pneumonia
NIAMEY (Niger), 27 June 2011 - More than 1.2 million Niger’s children and 200 000 women, living in the most affected food insecure regions of Diffa, Maradi...
UNICEF applauds donor pledges to children’s health
LONDON, 13 June 2011 - The generosity and commitment of the donors at today’s GAVI replenishment conference will benefit the lives of millions of the poorest...
Massive international effort to stop polio epidemic across west Africa
BRAZZAVILLE/DAKAR, 25 March 2011 - Health experts today confirmed that a devastating polio epidemic in west African countries is on the verge of being stopped...
Child mortality rate drops by a third since 1990
NEW YORK, 17 September – The latest United Nations under-five mortality estimates were released today by UNICEF and they show continued progress...
Health facilities are vital in promoting good breastfeeding practices, says UNICEF
NEW YORK, 30 July 2010 – In World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF and its partners are asking health professionals to encourage new mothers to breastfeed...
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director, Anthony Lake, welcoming the G8 Muskoka Initiative on maternal, newborn and under-five child health
Statement - 25 June 2010
UNICEF welcomes Kiwanis partnership to fight deadly maternal and neonatal tetanus worldwide
NEW YORK, 24 June 2010 – UNICEF today welcomed the announcement of a new partnership with global volunteer network Kiwanis International...
UNICEF urges increased investment in Africa’s children for the continent’s future development
NEW YORK/ADDIS ABABA, 16 June 2010 – Many of the millions of African children who don’t live to see their fifth birthday could be saved with greater...
Lack of skilled birth care costs 2 million lives each year, report shows both mothers and newborns at risk
NEW YORK, 4 June 2010 - A lack of skilled attendants at birth accounts for two million preventable maternal deaths, stillbirths and newborn deaths each...
UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman launches Facts for Life, a guide for healthy childhood
NEW YORK/GENEVA/ MASERU, LESOTHO, 7 April 2010 – During a visit to Lesotho, a country entirely landlocked by South Africa, UNICEF Executive...
Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman applauding Gates Foundation $10 billion pledge for vaccines
Statement - 2 February 2010
UNICEF: Canada’s G8 focus on maternal and child health will help global efforts
NEW YORK, 29 January 2010 – This week’s announcement by Canada that it will make maternal and child health a priority when it hosts the...
UNICEF supports health campaigns for improved child survival in Rwanda
KIGALI, 17 December 2009 - During the launch of two campaigns to improve environmental health and sustain child survival in Rwanda...
WHO/UNICEF launch new action plan against pneumonia, the leading killer of children
NEW YORK, 1 November 2009 – More than five million children could be saved over six years if a comprehensive plan to tackle pneumonia is adopted...
Global health experts report childhood vaccines at all-time high, but access not yet equitable
WASHINGTON, D.C. 21 October 2009 — Reversing a downward trend, immunization rates are now at their highest ever and vaccine development...
Diarrhoea - Why children are still dying and what can be done: UNICEF and WHO launch report on the second greatest killer of children
NEW YORK, 14 October 2009 – Despite the existence of inexpensive and efficient means of treatment, diarrhoea kills more children than AIDS, malaria...
Benin: $1 million of essential supplies and equipment to encourage efforts for reducing maternal and child mortality
COTONOU, October 8, 2009 – UNICEF Representative in Benin, Dr. Souleymane Diallo, handed over to the Minister of Health, Dr. Issifou Takpara, a set...
Global child mortality continues to drop
NEW YORK, 10 September 2009 – UNICEF today released new figures that show the rate of deaths of children under five years of age continued to decline...
UNICEF Executive Director announces $500,000 for social protection programs in The Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville)
BRAZZAVILLE, The Republic of the Congo, 24 August 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, in her visit to The Republic of the Congo...
UNICEF Executive Director launches first-ever National Child Health Week in Nigeria
ABUJA, 31 July 2009 – UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman and the Nigerian Health Minister, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin...
UNICEF Chief commemorates Breastfeeding Week by promoting better nutrition and child health in Nigeria
KEBBI STATE, NIGERIA, 31 July 2009 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman emphasized the contribution that breastfeeding can...
Government of Japan provides $5.6 million to health programmes in Sudan
KHARTOUM, 29 July 2009 – The Government of Japan will sign a new agreement with UNICEF tomorrow, making available US$ 5.6 million...
Ministry of Health and UNICEF Zambia join with mobile phone companies for Child Health Week
LUSAKA, 16 July 2009 – To highlight Zambia’s Child Health Week activities, which this year focus on preventing polio, the Ministry of Health and...
UNICEF supports Child Health Days in Guinea Bissau that provide key interventions
BISSAU, 6 July 2009 – UNICEF Bissau is supporting a nation-wide vaccination campaign aimed at protecting children against killer diseases...
UNICEF highlights child survival on the Day of the African Child
NEW YORK, 16 June 2009 – Several African countries have made impressive gains in child survival in recent years but much more needs to be done...
Global commitment announced in fight against leading killer of children
NEW YORK/LECCE, ITALY, 12 JUNE 2009 – A new strategy in the fight against pneumonia, the world’s greatest killer of children, was announced today...
Zambia: Early childhood development in focus
LUSAKA, 18 August 2008 – More than 100 researchers, practitioners, and experts on Early Childhood Development (ECD) will gather in Livingstone...
The Government of the Netherlands grants $13.5 million to support a programming approach to early childhood development
Den Haag, 18 April 2008 - The Government of the Netherlands has announced a grant of $13,5 million, via UNICEF, to support a programme on early childhood development in selected countries.
Turkmenistan Government to fully support flour fortification
TURKMENISTAN, 14 January 2008 – UNICEF welcomes the Turkmenistan Government’s self-sustainable flour fortification programme.
UNICEF Armenia calls for more investment in early childhood learning
YEREVAN, 2 October 2007 – Representatives from ministries, parliament, governors, international organizations and members of non-governmental...
An alliance for a better childhood
TBILISI, 22 March 2007 - The National Alliance on early childhood development is being launched today at the Parliament of Georgia by the Committee on Health and...
Food Insecurity in Iraq Persists: Children Suffer
AMMAN/BAGHDAD, 11 May 2006 – Despite the laudable efforts of the Public Distribution System (PDS) of food baskets, many of Iraq’s poorer households are still food insecure, according to a Food Security and Vulnerability Analysis launched today, based on the most recent data from 2005.
A Quarter of the World’s Children Seriously Underweight
NEW YORK, 2 May 2006 - More than one quarter of all children under the age of five in developing countries are underweight, many to a life-threatening degree, says a UNICEF report published today. Poor nutrition remains a global epidemic contributing to more than half of all child deaths, about 5.6 million per year.
Chile: President Bachelet launched reform on early childhood
CHILE, 31 March 2006 - Yesterday President Michelle Bachelet announced the creation of a Technical Advisory Council to reform the government’s early childhood policies. The Council, integrated by 14 members including UNICEF, is part of President Bachelet’s goal to implement a new social welfare system.
Poor feeding for children under two leads to nearly one-fifth of child deaths
NEW YORK, 1 August 2005 – Better infant feeding practices in the first two years of life could prevent almost one-fifth of all child deaths in the developing world, UNICEF said today at the start of World Breastfeeding Week.
5,500 children die in Eastern and Southern Africa every day
NAIROBI, 15 July 2005 - A disproportionately heavy burden of child deaths weighs on families in eastern and southern Africa. Every day 5,500 children under the age of five die across the 21 countries of the region and the majority of the deaths are largely preventable.
Integrated approach to child survival achieving important results
GENEVA, 16 May 2005 – An integrated approach to child survival designed to deliver a package of lifesaving health services for children in hard to reach communities has shown remarkable results, UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman announced today at the World Health Assembly.
Bellamy to call for new tactics in child survival at meeting of pediatricians in Cancun
MEDIA ADVISORY, 5 August 2004 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will deliver the keynote address to the 24th International Congress of Pediatrics in Cancun. Every year, more than 10 million children under the age of five die totally preventable deaths. Some are the direct causes of illness—pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles—and others are affected by indirect causes such as conflict and HIV/AIDS. Malnutrition and lack of safe water and sanitation are contributing factors to more than half of these deaths.
Day of the African Child, 2003: For each child, an identity
NEW YORK, 16 June 2003 - UNICEF offices in dozens of countries are set to celebrate the Day of the African Child today, calling for the need to ensure all children are registered at birth. (Press Release)
UNICEF congratulates Uganda on new database outlining key indicators on children
UNICEF today congratulated the Government of Uganda on formally launching a national database that provides wide-ranging and updated information on social development in the country, including those directly linked to the lives of children and women.
Far more pregnant women getting antenatal care
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 30 March 2004 – The number of pregnant women in developing countries receiving antenatal care during pregnancy has increased significantly since 1990, signalling that an untapped opportunity exists to reach poor women with a whole package of life-saving health services, according to a joint report issued today by UNICEF and the World Health Organization.
2003 NEP: What's the difference? An ECD Impact Study from Nepal