Partnerships crucial to get back on track & achieve results for every child

First regular session of 2023

13 February 2023

NEW YORK, United States of America, 13 February 2023 ─ The UNICEF Executive Board concluded its 2023 first regular session last Thursday after two and a half days of discussions and deliberations on topics that highlighted the diversity of UNICEF partnerships to accelerate the achievement of results for children.

The session was opened by Ambassador Marie-Louise Koch Wegter, Deputy Permanent Representative of Denmark to the United Nations and President of the UNICEF Executive Board in 2023. Ambassador Wegter highlighted the importance of partnerships and collaboration in everything UNICEF does. “We all play our small part in something big, namely changing the lives of children around the world. And the better we work together and the more conscious we are of spending our time and resources wisely, the more children we will help,” she said.


In her introductory remarks, Executive Director Catherine Russell touched on the diverse partnerships that allow UNICEF to advance its universal mandate for children. From its coordination with humanitarian partners, under the leadership of the Government and local authorities, to provide earthquake relief in Türkiye and Syrian Arab Republic, to its key role in the ACT-A/COVAX initiative, UNICEF engages with a multitude of partners to accelerate achieving results for children.

“UNICEF is planning to achieve lasting systemic change for the world’s children in 2023,” said Executive Director Russell, “but we cannot do it alone”. UNICEF and implementing partners need the right support to deliver programmes, and  “timely, predictable and flexible funding” enables the organization to respond quicky, anticipate future risks, and provide countries with support contributing to their long term resilience and development.

Fostering partnerships to achieve results for every child

On Tuesday, the Board considered the Private Fundraising and Partnerships (PFP) workplan and proposed budget for 2023. Despite challenges in 2022, UNICEF was able to continue to nurture engagement with its private sector partners. The latest estimates indicate that net revenue in 2022 will be approximately $2.5 billion – 54 per cent higher than the target.

Working together with National Committees and country offices, the PFP workplan aims to engage 22.8 million individuals in 2023, raising a total of $1.87 billion from individual donors, philanthropists, membership- and faith-based organizations, foundations and businesses.

Looking ahead, addressing the climate crisis, strengthening health systems and using digital education to close the learning deficit were selected as the PFP focus areas for fundraising and partnership proposals.

The Board also received the latest update on the World Bank instrument that allows UNICEF to access additional financing for investment in private sector fundraising, for which early results indicate that the fund exceeded performance expectations in 2021 and 2022.

On Tuesday, the Chair of the Standing Group of National Committees updated the Board on the work carried out by the 33 National Committees for UNICEF. She reported that they jointly provide one-third of UNICEF global funding and make specific efforts to raise unrestricted funds. She cautioned however, that unrestricted income is under pressure, and that to address the current and future needs of children the entire ecosystem needed to be made “future proof”.

She called upon the Executive Board to play its part, saying that it “has a key role to play in increasing unrestricted funds for children.”  “Together we have the responsibility to find new ways to reverse the trend of decreasing core funding”, she said.

The critical importance of partnerships with the international financial institutions (IFIs), such as the World Bank, the IMF and regional development banks in leveraging financing and influence for children is noted in the Strategic Plan, 2022–2025. On Thursday morning, the Board heard an update on UNICEF work with IFIs across every region, in more than 60 countries, and its development of a global strategic action plan that outlines the collective action needed to further strengthen these partnerships.