UNICEF in emergencies

Reaching the vulnerable

© UNICEF/ HQ99-1089/LeMoyne

UNICEF has always worked in emergencies, both natural and man-made. Originally called the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, the organisation was created to provide humanitarian assistance to children living in a world shattered by the Second World War. Much has changed since then, but UNICEF’s fundamental mission has not. Though emergencies grow increasingly complex, their impacts ever more devastating, UNICEF remains dedicated to providing life-saving assistance to children affected by disasters, and to protecting their rights in any circumstances, no matter how difficult. In health and nutrition, water and sanitation, protection, education and HIV/AIDS, UNICEF’s Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action are more than a mission statement – they are a humanitarian imperative.

Learn more about UNICEF's role in emergencies.

2011 Humanitarian Action Study




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