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UNICEF Corporate and Philanthropic Partnerships

H&M and the H&M Foundation

H&M has partnered with UNICEF on programmes supporting children’s rights since 2004


Since 2014 UNICEF also partners with the H&M Foundation, a non-profit global foundation initiated by H&M complementing H&M’s sustainability work

The mission of the H&M Foundation is to contribute to positive long-term change for people and communities, where H&M operates. The H&M Foundation is engaged in three focus areas; Education, Clean Water and Strengthening Women and the partnership with UNICEF is within the area of Education.

In total, H&M Foundation has committed to support UNICEF’s early childhood development (ECD) programmes with SEK120 million (about US$13.5 million). This generous support enables UNICEF to provide the most vulnerable and excluded children with the best possible start in life.



© UNICEF/NYHQ2009-1243/Pirozzi

H&M Foundation an UNICEF renew partnership to make children's early moments matter

In May 2017 H&M Foundation and UNICEF renewed their mutual commitment to improving children’s early development. Under the new agreement, the H&M Foundation will invest more 60 million SEK (around USD 6.5 million) in UNICEF’s early childhood development programmes, helping to reach more than 145,000 children, parents, teachers and influencers in Timor-Leste, Egypt, Mali and Vietnam.

Building on the first phase of the UNICEF-H&M Foundation collaboration (2014-2017), the new phase of this partnership will support interventions that will not only aim at further strengthening ECD services for individual child outcomes but will also continue to build the case for the ‘multiplier effects’ of early investments in children – beyond educational attainments – and for wider societal benefits.

The new 2017–2020 Collaboration - Stronger Individuals, Stronger Societies: strengthening ECD systems and enabling future scale-up - will therefore focus on three overarching outcomes and on a series of context specific results and outputs across four target geographies. In particular, UNICEF and H&M Foundation will:

• Promote global campaigning and evidence-based advocacy at the national and community level on the importance of early childhood development to help children reach their potential, and to help communities to thrive. The partnership will leverage the investments of the first phase of the partnership, including the Global Report on ECD, and as well as UNICEF’s global ECD advocacy and communication campaign.

• Strengthen ECD services through building the capacity of service providers, strengthening public systems, and supporting parenting and positive engagement between caregivers and children. 145,000 direct beneficiaries will be reached across Mali, Timor Leste, Vietnam and Egypt.

• Develop and field-test new measurement tools that examine and build the case for early investment in children as a catalyst for increased sociality, tolerance, cooperation, and social cohesion. As part of the Early Childhood Peace Consortium, UNICEF will support a research network that will design an innovative measurement framework suitable for capturing the contributions of ECD to stronger, more cohesive societies.


Impact of the partnership on Early Chilhood Development

Since 2014, H&M Foundation has supported UNICEF’s global ECD program and in so doing helped achieve the following results:
• More than 100,000 children in Rwanda, Mali, Benin, Timor Leste, Nepal, and Lao PDR  benefited from early childhood development programmes supported through this partnership.
• The national development agendas of Chile, Montenegro and South Africa were supported to include efficient allocations for early childhood development programmes, supported by national budgetary resources.
• The first-ever global report on early childhood development highlighting key early development indicators is being released and will help shift global perceptions of the importance of early childhood development.

We invite you to view this short film that highlights the results of UNICEF’s ECD programme supported by H&M Foundation:



A new partnership to support children with disabilities 

In 2017, H&M Foundation and UNICEF launched a new partnership, worth USD 3.7 million, to support young children, especially those with disabilities. One of the aims of the partnership is to reach more than 9,000 young children with disabilities, and their family members, with specialized early childhood development services over the course of three years.

The initiative will scale up existing UNICEF early childhood development programmes in Bulgaria, Peru and Uganda, to make them more accessible and tailored to the needs of children with disabilities and their families. Around 20,000 family members and caregivers will be provided with support to help them give young children the good nutrition, stimulation and protection they need.

Investing early in inclusive child care, health, protection, and education not only facilitates children with disabilities to thrive, but also reduces the considerable costs of special education, unemployed and institutionalisation, etc. The private sector business, governments and communities can play a critical role in investing in children with disabilities.

Through our new partnership with UNICEF, we hope to transform the lives and futures of thousands of young children with disabilities. We hope this initiative inspires the private sector to invest in children’s early years – helping them reach their full health, happiness, wellbeing and full potential” said Diana Amini Global Manager at H&M Foundation.

Giving young children with disabilities the best chance of reaching their optimal development also helps considerably reduce the costs of special education, unemployment and institutionalization.

2015 Global Holiday Campaign

During 2015 holiday season H&M customers worldwide were invited to make a difference! From November 5th to December 31st 2015, every time a customer bought an H&M gift card in all of the participating stores globally, the H&M Foundation donated 5% of the total gift card amount to UNICEF. A total of €4.9 million was raised for UNICEF in a few weeks. This donation will benefit 480,000 children, aged 5-14 in Myanmar. The children will get increased access to school and improved quality of education.

The supported programme includes children in formal schooling as well as children living in camps for internally displaced people. Out of school children will also benefit through non-formal education initiatives. UNICEF will work on multiple levels to influence changes in policy, in education management and in schools and communities. Children, parents, teachers, head masters and policy makers will be involved in creating better education for children in Myanmar.



About the partnership with H&M

H&M is committed to protecting children’s rights and has partnered with UNICEF on programmes supporting children since 2004. The aim is to use H&M's scale to bring about systemic change to the industry and across the value chain.

H&M has contributed over US$ 19 million, with funds being invested in areas such as girls' education, HIV/AIDS prevention, water and sanitation, and child protection in Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Madagascar, and Uzbekistan. H&M has also contributed to UNICEF’s disaster relief work on several occasions, such as for the tsunami emergency, the floods in Pakistan, the Haiti earthquake, the drought in the Horn of Africa, and for the ongoing Syria emergency.

Since 2012, H&M, alongside other Swedish business leaders, has been involved in an initiative led by UNICEF that aims to help companies understand and assess their impact on children’s rights. This initiative follows the official 2012 release of the Children’s Rights and Business Principles (CRBP) by UNICEF, the UN Global Compact and Save the Children. The CRBPs are the first comprehensive set of global standards for child-friendly business practices setting out the actions that companies should incorporate to respect and support children's rights.


H&M has also carried out several fundraising activities over the years in support of UNICEF.  For example, during the first decade of UNICEF’s partnership with H&M, an exclusive baby collection was launched and sold online and 10 per cent of the purchase price was donated to UNICEF’s vaccination programme; twenty-five per cent of the purchase price of the All For Children Collection, sold in all H&M markets, was invested in an early childhood development and education programme in Ethiopia; and a jubilee book was also released and part of the income donated to UNICEF’s work against child marriage in India.
Facts about H&M

Founded in Sweden in 1947, H&M is today one of the world’s leading fashion companies. The entire H&M group has around 4,100 stores in 64 markets, including franchise markets, employing around 148,000 people.



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