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UNICEF History

Milestones: 1966-1975




For the first time the Executive Board meets in Africa – in Addis Ababa – and holds a special meeting on needs of African children.

UNICEF is now aiding 120 countries and territories (41 in Africa; 34 in the Americas; 25 in Asia; 13 in the Eastern Mediterranean; and 7 in Europe).  Health programmes (basic health services and disease control programmes) account for 59 per cent of its programme aid. About one-third of all programme aid is for training.

Annual income now totals $35.2 million; a goal of $50 million is set to be reached by end of 1969 at the close of the first United Nations Development Decade.


Executive Board reviews strategies, criteria and priorities to be followed for the best use of UNICEF aid, reaffirming and refining policies approved in 1961: UNICEF can help governments to establish priorities for children and will support whatever is mutually agreed to be the best possible action to achieve them.

A “country approach” is emphasized. The goal is to move away from individual projects, as separate entities, to more comprehensive services for children forming an integral part of national development efforts. Emphasis is placed on the need for innovative approaches to solving problems, new ways of training, and greater attention to eliciting local support.


Executive Board reviews aid for education, agreeing that UNICEF should continue to support strategic aspects of education programmes – teacher training, modernization of school curricula, emphasis on practical subjects such as science, vocationally-oriented studies, health, nutrition.

Aid is provided to mothers and children on both sides of the conflict in Nigeria and is approved for both sides in the Viet Nam conflict – as part of UNICEF’s philosophy of aiding all children in need, regardless of politics, creed, or national origin.


For the first time the Executive Board meets in Latin America – in Santiago – and holds a special meeting on the situation of Latin American children. The Board decides to seek contributions from governments for specific purposes in addition to contributions to general resources.


UNICEF’s annual income is now $59.4 million - exceeding the $50 million target set in 1966. A target of $100 million is set for 1975. Guidelines are established for allocation of UNICEF aid; the purpose is to give more to projects in the neediest countries.

An assessment is made of projects for education and training of women and girls for family and community life.


The Executive Board decides that increased efforts must be made to encourage deployment of financial support from multilateral and bilateral sources to benefit children.

Special forms of aid for services benefiting children in urban slums and shanty towns are approved.


Training of national auxiliary and para-professional personnel continues to be a major element in UNICEF aid with some 220,000 persons receiving training stipends. In addition, many thousands more benefit from material aid provided by UNICEF to training centres and institutions.

The Board adopts new policy guidelines for aid to education, with concentration on educationally deprived children of primacy school age, young adolescents who have missed schooling, education of girls, use of schools for health and nutrition education, an education of parents in child rearing.


UNICEF decides to expand aid for non-formal education (outside regular school programmes), particularly for rural children and youth.

UNICEF is now assisting some 70 countries with village water supplies; the purpose is to reduce child illness and death, and to lessen drudgery of mothers, improve quality of life in villages, and encourage self-help community efforts.

UNICEF begins help for prevention of blindness in young children, through large doses of vitamin A.

Participation by UNICEF in UNDP country programming exercises provides new opportunities to promote systematic action in national development efforts to meet needs of children.


Executive Board, concerned with serious threat to millions of children adversely affected by world economic crisis, inflation, natural disasters and scarcity of food, issues a “Declaration of Emergency". Special efforts are authorized for children’s services in least developed countries and in countries “most severely affected”.

Board reviews efforts to give special attention to the young child (up to approximately six years of age) and agrees that emphasis should be on reaching the child by extending existing channels, including indirect services through mothers, families and communities.

First annual UNICEF pledging conference at which governments announce contributions for following year, is held in November.


UNICEF joins with WHO in approving a new strategy of assistance to primary health services to bring care to now largely unserved mothers and children and decides to strengthen action for more effective work to improve child nutrition.

Board approves an “advocacy-oriented” information policy designed to make public opinion, in both industrialized and developing countries, more responsive to action to meet children’s needs.

International Women’s Year accelerates UNICEF’s emphasis on programmes benefiting women and girls.

UNICEF annual revenue now reaches a record level of $141 million; (but this is only a 7 per cent increase over 1974 revenues in real terms).

1946-1955 | 1956-1965 | 1966-1975 
1976-1985 | 1986-1995



History in multimedia

The following multimedia website on UNICEF’s history was released for the organization’s 60th Anniversary. Each segment includes an illustrated timeline, posters and stamps, and video interviews about developments in the given period. Some include music and coins as well.

1946-1959 | 1960-1979
1980-1989 | 1990-1999

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