UNICEF in Ethiopia
UNICEF has been present in Ethiopia since 1952 and its history is closely tied to Ethiopia’s gradual transformation into a modern economy with strong aspirations for middle income status by 2025.
At the end of the Second World War, Ethiopia embarked on a programme to modernize its economy and social infrastructure. International organizations were invited to support this effort and, starting in 1952, United Nations officials, including UNICEF staffers, began to frequently visit the country to deliver medical supplies and organize vaccinations of children. In 1958, UNICEF established its first office in Addis Ababa and in 1963 signed a formal Basic Cooperation Agreement (BCA) with the Government.
From inception, UNICEF was guided by the vision of a better future for all children. Through some of the country’s most difficult times, and as the country achieved one milestone after another, UNICEF was there to provide policy advice, render technical support, and improve service delivery.
Between 2000-2015, Ethiopia recorded major achievements which included reduction of child mortality by more than two-thirds, halving the number of people living in absolute poverty, expansion of social infrastructure such as health posts and primary schools, reduction of undernutrition in children, and increased access to safe water and sanitation.
With a staff of more than 400 and a field presence in each of the country’s eight regional states, our programme in Ethiopia is one of the largest UNICEF programmes globally.
UNICEF works to support national efforts to ensure the realization of the rights of children and women through improved child survival, development and protection. Over the past six decades UNICEF has established strong relations with the Government of Ethiopia, bi-laterals, donors, development partners and civil society.
UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children's rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.