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UNICEF’s overall goal is to promote and protect the rights of children and women, through enhancing the capacity and commitment of Government and civil society. This includes reducing geographical, sectoral and gender disparities in selected programme areas, reducing infant, under five and maternal mortality, and contributing to HIV/AIDS prevention, malaria control, micronutrient deficiency control, basic education, and access to safe water supply and sanitation.

UNICEF priorities

The survival and early childhood care programme contributes to reducing mortality through malaria control, promoting baby-friendly initiatives especially breastfeeding, immunization activities, HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation (including reducing mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS), and monitoring and reducing malnutrition. Safe motherhood and vitamin A supplementation are also actively pursued.

The integrated growth and development programme focuses on children aged six to 12 years. It contributes to improving net primary school enrolment, retention and educational attainment, as well as improving nutritional status in selected areas. This is achieved by establishing more ‘girl-friendly’, ‘child-friendly’ schools, promoting quality teaching and learning practices, caring for children in need of special protection, improving access to safe water and sanitation, and enlisting the participation of  community and neighbourhood groups. Other activities include promoting best nutrition and care practices including de-worming.

The protection and youth participation programme addresses the development, protection and participation among youths aged 13 to 18 by promoting HIV/AIDS awareness, especially through peer groups. It also contributes to the elimination of the worst forms of child labour, the reduction of child trafficking, and the protection of children from sexual exploitation and Female Genital Mutilation.

The planning and communication programme supports the programmes described above, and also focuses on women over 18 years of age and on families, by analyzing social statistics for advocacy, policy development and wide dissemination of data.  It also promotes relevant changes in individual behaviour and social norms, and developing communication packages, especially for women's empowerment and HIV/AIDS prevention.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate


Infant mortality rate
(under 1)


Total population


Annual no. of births


Annual no. of
under-5 deaths (thousands)


GNI per capita (US$)


Life expectancy at birth


Total adult literacy rate


Net primary school
enrolment / attendance (%)


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The Official Summary of The State of the World's Children 2004

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