UNICEF in the Gulf: a look back at 2021 fundraising results

Strategic engagement with public and private sector partners deliver win-win results

Lina Y. Elkurd
23 February 2022

In 2021, UNICEF's strategic engagement with governments and private sector partners in the Gulf region continued to grow and mobilise vital resources in support of children around the world. Generous voluntary contributions allowed UNICEF to help children and adolescents with education, nutrition, immunisation, and the procurement and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines and auxiliary supplies on behalf of the COVAX Facility.

"Our collective results are allowing millions of children to survive, thrive and reach their full potential," said Eltayeb Adam, UNICEF Representative to the Gulf Area. "Our deepest appreciation goes to our esteemed partners from the Gulf countries' public sector, private sector and civil society for putting children first".

Humanitarian operations in crises-affected countries and the COVID-19 response represented the two primary areas of collaboration between UNICEF and Gulf partners in 2021. Additionally, unearmarked contributions – not attached to a specific programme - enabled UNICEF to respond quickly and flexibly wherever and whenever the children's needs are greatest.

In total, the UNICEF Gulf Area Office raised US$114.6 million in 2021. Generous contributions from government entities amounted to US$88.1 million, while businesses, foundations and individuals offered support valued at US$26.5 million.

With the COVID-19 pandemic soon beginning its third year, struggling economies, rising poverty and increasing inequality worldwide, UNICEF will need greater support in 2022. UNICEF's record US$9.4 billion emergency funding appeal for 2022 aims to reach more than 327 million people – including 177 million children – affected by conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19.

"The Gulf countries are some of the most generous and giving back countries in the world. UNICEF has been working hand in hand with governments, corporates and philanthropists to strengthen our partnerships on all fronts," said Fairuz Taqi-Eddin, Chief of Partnerships and Resource Mobilisation at UNICEF's Gulf Area Office. "Children's needs are growing at alarming rates around the planet. Now more than ever, children count on the generous support and commitment of our donors and partners to best respond to these needs."

The increased needs will require larger funding volumes from all donors and partners in the Gulf area and elsewhere. Without additional resources, children risk losing more due to the pandemic.

"We are working with our partners to identify new and innovative areas in giving and partnering such as Islamic financing, cryptocurrency donations, and other non-traditional sources of funding from both the public and private sectors," continued Fairuz Taqi-Eddin. "We already see outstanding results from initiatives such as Gamers Without Borders. Exploring and engaging new ways in giving back is very important."

UNICEF's partnerships in the Gulf are much more profound than mobilising financial and material support for children in other parts of the world. Throughout 2021, UNICEF and national partners scaled up numerous projects that directly benefit children in Gulf area countries. Numerous achievements under child protection, early childhood development, social policy, education, and data and evidence for children marked significant progress to protect and advance children's rights.

"Our partnership with Gulf countries is a remarkable model. By combining an ambitious domestic programme with a purposeful fundraising strategy, we deliver significant results for children here and everywhere around the planet," concluded Eltayeb Adam.