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UNICEF Corporate and Philanthropic Partnerships



UNICEF’s partnership with Unilever aims to drive transformational change for communities and children around the world. UNICEF has partnered with two of Unilever’s brands: Domestos and Dirt is Good. Domestos and the Unilever Global Partnerships Team are supporting UNICEF’s global sanitation programme, helping to improve sanitation worldwide and stop the spread of disease-causing germs as part of Unilever’s Sustainable Living Plan. As part of Dirt is Good’s Learning for Tomorrow initiative, OMO has helped 10 million children access quality education by supporting UNICEF’s education programmes in Viet Nam, Brazil and India in 2015..


Improving sanitation with Domestos

Having access to sanitation is a basic human right. However 2.4 billion people still do not have access to improved sanitation and, of these, almost 1 billion people are forced to practice open defecation. Every two minutes, a child dies of diarrhoeal diseases due to poor sanitation, hygiene and unsafe drinking water.

Every specially marked bottle of Domestos, sold for a number of months during the year, contributes directly to UNICEF’s global sanitation programmes. Domestos’ mission, in partnership with UNICEF, is to stop the spread of germs and provide access to clean and safe toilets for people worldwide.

Between 2012- 2015, the Unilever Foundation, Domestos, and UNICEF have helped over 5 million people gain access to a toilet through behaviour change interventions and capacity building initiatives.  Of these, nearly 2 million people are now living in open defecation free communities, benefitting from improved health, safety, and dignity1.

Universal access to Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) is essential to helping lift people out of poverty and create a sustainable future for generations to come. It is only through collective action that we will be able to tackle this urgent issue and ensure even more people benefit from WASH behaviour-change programmes.” Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever.

UNICEF and Dirt is Good: Helping children access quality education

Not every child has the opportunity of a quality education. There are 58 million school aged children who do not go to primary school, and a further 130 million children who do go to school but fail to learn the basic skills they need.

The support of Dirt is Good will benefit more than ten million children globally; one million children in Brazil, more than eight million children in India and more than half a million children in Viet Nam by contributing to UNICEF’s key education initiatives and programmes in these countries.

To find out more about the partnership, watch our First Day of School film

As well as these headline activities, UNICEF and Unilever work closely on key areas of alignment. In the area of WASH we recognise that joint advocacy can be the catalyst for lasting change. For example, Domestos and UNICEF work together to raise awareness of the global sanitation crisis, through initiatives such as the ‘see through loo’ which brought the sanitation crisis to life in 2015 at the Global Citizen Festival, developing simple but powerful infographics that educate and inform or by working with Unilever and others to make improve WASH provision at work through the WASH4Work campaign.

Unilever’s employees worldwide have also got involved in our partnership. For example Unilever has contributed to UNICEF’s emergency responses through global employee fundraising and matched funding, as well as by contributing soap and detergent to help stop the spread of the Ebola virus in Liberia.

Unilever Ambassador Harsh Mishra visited UNICEF supported sanitation projects in Kenya and shared his perspective

UNICEF is really excited because, together, we are facilitating access to improved sanitation for some of the most disadvantaged communities around the world. Fundamentally, an investment in sanitation is an investment in human dignity. This is a promising partnership, with enormous potential to achieve results because we bring our complementary skills, knowledge and expertise to the issues.” Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director.

For more information

Five questions for Keith Weed on business and the rights of children
About Unilever Foundation
About Unilever Foundation Ambassador for UNICEF 2015

1 Results are reported by UNICEF in accordance with its methodology and includes reach from direct & indirect initiatives.




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