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UNICEF praises donation from Spanish Government

MADRID, 27 September 2006 – UNICEF thanked the Government of Spain for the generous donation of €21 million Euro toward the agency’s work on behalf of children that was announced today.

The donation marks another step in Spain’s increasing commitment to children, and was announced as the government officials and UNICEF held high level discussions in Madrid on improving the lives of women and children in the developing world.

Last year, Spain’s contribution to UNICEF was € 6.3 million Euro. This donation, added to the more than € 7 million euro already pledged this year by Spain represents a four-fold increase in the government’s spending on children and women in the developing world.

Of the 21 million Euros, fifteen million will be equally divided among three areas of UNICEF's work: child protection, girls’ education and public policy and advocacy. The remaining € 6 million Euros will support other programme areas.

“Thanks to this donation from the Government of Spain, millions of children will be protected from exploitation and benefit from education,” said Rima Salah, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director. “The Spanish people are making a solid investment in a brighter future for the whole world.”

UNICEF’s child protection and girls’ education programmes touch the lives of millions of vulnerable children around the world.

An estimated 300 million children worldwide are subjected to violence, exploitation and abuse including the worst forms of child labor in communities, schools and institutions; during armed conflict; and to harmful practices such as female genital mutilation/cutting and child marriage.

Education of girls is a critical step for the next generation. There are 115 million children out of school, and more than half of them are girls. Evidence shows that girls who are educated become mothers to children who are more likely to be healthy, employed and educated themselves.

The third area to receive funding is perhaps less acknowledged than the first two, but no less crucial to the survival of children. UNICEF works closely with governments, lawmakers, the media, civil society and international organizations to lobby on behalf of women and children and ensure that the issues that directly affect them are at the top of the government’s agenda. This funding will allow UNICEF to continue the systematic analysis of economic, social and legal policies affecting children and women.


For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For further information, please contact:

Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media, 212 326 7452 kdonovan@unicef.org




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