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UNICEF in Georgia celebrates 60 years for children

© UNICEF Geo/2006/Klimchuk
(right to left): First Lady of Georgia Ms Sandra Elizabeth Roelofs; UNICEF Representative, Ms Giovanna Barberis. Conference on the situation of children in Georgia, held on 60th anniversary of UNICEF at Tbilisi Marriott Hotel on 11 December 2006.

UNICEF in Georgia reviews the situation of Georgian children

TBILISI, 11 December 2006

  • Georgia now meets the core international criteria for iodine deficiency elimination; 
  • Child injury rates at home are high (11 per cent)
  • At least 1 out of 10 surveyed obstetrician-gynecologists have inadequate experience in emergency obstetrics; 
  • Children transferred from an institution into a normal school often become subjects of hostile attitudes, humiliation and violence from their classmates and sometimes also from their teachers.

– These are the some of the main findings of surveys recently conducted by UNICEF in Georgia to assess how the country is progressing towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The results were presented at a conference attended by the First Lady of Georgia, Sandra Elizabeth Roelofs, government officials, NGOs, donors and UN agency representatives.

"On this important day we turn our attention to the most vulnerable children in Georgia" - UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Giovanna Barberis

“Today UNICEF celebrates its many achievements on behalf of children all over the world,” said UNICEF Representative in Georgia, Giovanna Barberis, at the UNICEF 60th anniversary conference held in Tbilisi. “On this important day we turn our attention to the most vulnerable children in Georgia and would like to highlight again the issues that need our attention. We have to unite our efforts to tackle these problems and to help Georgia to achieve the MDGs,” she added.

UNICEF 60th anniversary was used in Georgia to draw public attention to the most disadvantaged children and to review the issues that need the urgent attention of and combined efforts from different partners.

Other Georgian events celebrating the UNICEF milestone include the launch of the TV spot dedicated to the 60th anniversary featuring UN Goodwill Ambassador in Georgia and eminent opera singer Paata Burchuladze and the broadcasting of a video on the history of UNICEF on national television.

UNICEF booklets and calendars dedicated to the 60th anniversary were produced and relevant articles were published in the newspapers. One highlight was a special Christmas performance for children staged by the Tbilisi’s ancient Marjanishvili Academic Theatre.

Highlights of the 60th anniversary celebration worldwide include a commemorative meeting at the UN General Assembly New York, the screening of a new UNICEF documentary, “Wake Up World”, a photo exhibition and multimedia art show entitled “Mosaic UNICEF” and, of course, a celebration with children.

Born from the ashes of World War II, UNICEF’s first mission was to provide milk, food, blankets and medicine to millions of European children left hungry, homeless and weakened by war. Serving more than six million meals a day it quickly earned the nickname “milkman to the world’s children.”

Once the children of Europe were on their way to recovery, UNICEF broadened its mandate beyond European borders to help children suffering from poverty and illness throughout the world.Ever since then UNICEF has been on an evolutionary journey, adapting to meet the needs of children in an ever changing world.

UNICEF’s advocacy and programming efforts have literally saved the lives of millions of children. UNICEF lists among its achievements:

  • Conducting global immunization campaigns against six diseases – diphtheria, measles, pertussis, polio, tuberculosis and tetanus – which save the lives of millions of children every year. 
  • Giving Vitamin A supplements to children has helped reduce mortality by about 25 per cent in areas where child death rates are high.
  • Campaigning for the production of iodized salt to reduce the risk of mental disability caused by iodine deficiency. An estimated 70 per cent of all households in the developing world now consume iodized salt, sparing millions of children the risk of mental disability.
  • Getting more children are in school today than in any other time in history. In many parts of the world, disparities in enrolment between boys and girls are narrowing. 
  • Returning hundreds of thousands of children affected by armed conflict and natural disaster to school thanks to the invention of UNICEF’s school-in-a-box.

Perhaps UNICEF’s greatest achievement has been putting children at the center of the international development agenda.  No longer a separate cause with separate concerns, children are an important part of global strategies to reduce illness, poverty and mortality while boosting education, gender equality and environmental sustainability. In short, they are at the very heart of the Millennium Development Goals. In the coming years UNICEF will continue to push for the needs of children, centering its efforts on reaching MDG targets by 2015.


For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Maya Kurtsikidze, Communications Officer, UNICEF Georgia
Tel: (995 32) 23 23 88, 25 11 30
Fax: (995 32) 25 12 36





Georgia celebrates UNICEF's 60th Anniversary

TV spot for 60th featuring by renowned Georgian Opera singer and UN Goodwill Ambassador in Georgia, Paata Burchuladze

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