Frequently asked questions
Get your answers here about UNICEF
Q. What does the acronym “UNICEF” stand for?
A. At its founding in 1946 the official name for UNICEF was the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. In 1953, the UN shortened the name to United Nations Children’s Fund, but the original acronym remained the same.
Q. What is the link between UNICEF and the UN?
A. UNICEF was established by the United Nations on 11 December 1946 as a temporary fund to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and Asia. In 1950, UNICEF’s mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and mothers in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953. Today, UNICEF is the only organization in the UN system entirely dedicated to realizing the rights of children throughout the world to survival, development, protection and participation. It receives its mandate from the United Nations General Assembly; however, its budget is independent of the UN as a whole. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from governments, foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals.
Q. How does UNICEF work in Albania?
A. UNICEF primarily works by developing demonstration models and approaches in rural poor and urban marginalized communities. Once an approach has been shown to be effective, we support the government to replicate and expand the approach with its own budget. UNICEF helps to advocate for the rights of children; supports data gathering and dissemination on the situation of children; offers technical advice and support for the development of public policies for children.
Q. How does UNICEF ensure that its funds are used properly?
A. UNICEF field offices are regularly subject to both internal and external audits. Internal audits are conducted by UNICEF’s Office of Internal Audit, which reports directly to the Executive Director. The Institute of Internal Auditors, which sets professional standards for US internal auditors, conducted a quality assurance review and noted that UNICEF’s Office of Internal Audit meets the standards for the practice of internal auditing. External audits of UNICEF field offices are conducted by a team of auditors who have been elected by the United Nations General Assembly from among the supreme audit institutions of member states. Audit Reports of the UN Board of Auditors are public, being tabled in the UN General Assembly.
In addition, UNICEF has a financial management tracking system that monitors all income and expenditures at the country level. UNICEF disburses cash to local counterparts for agreed activities. UNICEF funds are normally advanced to cover three months’ needs at a time. Further advances only take place if the previous advance has been satisfactorily accounted for. Contracts to carry out specific tasks have to undergo a rigorous screening and selection process by an in-house Contract Review Committee. Depending on the service being rendered, there may also be a competitive bidding process under transparent selection procedures. All sourcing of supplies and equipment for UNICEF supported projects is handled by UNICEF under a strictly controlled and fully transparent procurement process. Delivery of all procured supplies is monitored by UNICEF staff all the way to their delivery points.
Q. Who gives UNICEF its funding and how much?
A. UNICEF derives its income entirely from voluntary contributions. The primary sources of these contributions are governments and intergovernmental organizations, corporations and private individuals.
Q. How does UNICEF raise funds from the private sector?
A. UNICEF has 37 National Committees that serve as its advocacy and fundraising arms in industrialized nations and territories. The National Committees run fund-raisers, organize events, maintain information databases, host workshops, solicit donations through direct mailing, and sell greeting cards, all with the intent of raising the awareness of people to the challenges facing children and women in developing countries. UNICEF has several partnerships that also facilitate fundraising. Starwood Hotels and Resorts, IKEA Foundation and Football Club Barcelona are some of the companies and organizations that help UNICEF raise money.
Q. Is UNICEF an NGO?
A. No. UNICEF is a United Nations agency. We are an inter-governmental organization working in Albania at the request of the Government of Albania.
Q. Can I work as a volunteer for UNICEF?
A. We appreciate the public’s interest in supporting UNICEF through volunteering. Unlike many charities and NGOs, UNICEF, as an inter-governmental development organization, is not structured to recruit and support volunteers for its field projects. We work with our partners to identify the most vulnerable children and we develop pilot projects that demonstrate improved methods for helping children. The nature of this kind of work requires long term technical cooperation that must be provided by development professionals.
Q. How can I help UNICEF’s work?
A. There are many things that you can do to support the work of UNICEF, from learning about child rights, to sharing important messages about vulnerable children with your friends, to becoming a monthly donor to UNICEF. Please visit the “Support us” section of this website for more information.
Q. How can I get a job or internship with UNICEF?
A. UNICEF is always looking for highly qualified and widely experienced Albanian development professionals to join its team. If you are interested in applying for any of the current UNICEF job vacancies please visit our “Jobs” page. If you are interested in becoming a UNICEF intern please visit our “Internship” page. You will find all the information you need on these pages.
Q. I have applied for a UNICEF Vacancy. When will I be contacted?
A. Applicants for all UNICEF vacancies must submit their CV or Bio-data before the required deadline stated in the vacancy notice, along with a completed UN Personal History Form (P11). All documentation should be written in English. All required documents can be sent by email to: The subject of your email should contain the vacancy reference number provided in the vacancy notice. We regret that written notice can only be sent to short-listed candidates. UNICEF receives a very large number of applications for job vacancies and we are unable to respond to each one.
Q. Can I donate used toys, books or clothing to UNICEF for needy children?
A. We appreciate public offers of material goods; however, UNICEF is not able to accept used in-kind donations for children. We are not structured to receive, sort, store and deliver these kinds of donations. There are many other reputable non-profit organizations that are able to do so.
Q. Can UNICEF assist me to obtain support for my child’s major medical expenses?
A. We deeply regret that your child is suffering from a health problem. Unfortunately, UNICEF is not in a position to provide assistance for individual children requiring medical or other forms of assistance. We work with our partners to develop services and support for problems affecting a large cross-section of the child population; hence, we are not set up nor are we funded to handle such cases.
Q. Can I give money to UNICEF to sponsor an individual child?
A. UNICEF is a development cooperation organization and does not take part in any child sponsorship activities. There are reputable other non-profit organizations that do so.
Q. Can UNICEF help me adopt a child?
A. No. UNICEF does not play a role in helping families to adopt children. If you are interested in adopting a child please contact local Civil Affairs authorities. You must take great care to safeguard the best interests of the child and to work strictly within the legal framework set up to coordinate adoption.