About the European Union

© UNICEF/NYHQ2000-0634/LeMoyne

Children seated on the floor watch a smiling toddler hanging in a sling scale to be weighed in an 'anganwadi' (courtyard garden), a local early childhood development centre, in a village in the Udaipur region of north-western Rajasthan, one of the states hardest hit by the drought.

The European Union is committed to the Millennium Development Goals and  to eradicating poverty by 2015. As the world's largest donor, the EU provides more than half of total aid to developing countries. The European Commission alone accounts for 13 per cent of total aid - €12.3 billion in 2009.

The European Union development cooperation supports services crucial to children's rights, such as health, education, and social protection, as well as combating discrimination, child labour and human trafficking. To achieve these objectives the EU works with UNICEF and other partners around the world.

The European Commission's EuropeAid Co-operation Office ensures that development assistance is delivered to those who need it worldwide. Contributions from EuropeAid to UNICEF vary from year to year, but have been around € 30 million. Read more about the EU Development Cooperation for Children.

The EU as a whole (the Member States and the Commission) is also one of the world's main humanitarian aid donors; the Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) works closely with UNICEF, and is one of its top donors.    In 2009 ECHO gave UNICEF € 40 million to assist children and women in emergencies.

For more information, see the EU & UNICEF press pack: A partnership for children


The EU - UNICEF Child Rights Toolkit

The Child Rights Toolkit developed by UNICEF and the European Union offers a set of tools and practical guidance on how children's rights and initiatives to promote the well-being of all children can be effectively integrated and applied across programs in development assistance.