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Press release

UNICEF Executive Director, Ann Veneman launches Facts for Life, a guide for healthy childhood

NEW YORK/GENEVA/ MASERU, LESOTHO, 7 April 2010 – During a visit to Lesotho, a country entirely landlocked by South Africa, UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman, today launched Facts for Life, a publication which delivers life-saving information to families and communities on how to prevent child and maternal deaths, diseases, injuries and violence.

“Education is key,” said Veneman.  “Through simple messages, Facts For Life aims to bring vital knowledge to parents and caregivers, who are the first line of defense in protecting children from illness and harm.” 

Now in its fourth edition, Facts for life has benefitted millions of individuals and communities since its first publication in 1989.  Some 15 million copies of previous editions have been circulated worldwide in 215 languages.

It is a co-publication by UNICEF, WHO, WFP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNDP, UNAIDS and the World Bank, and provides practical advice on pregnancy, childbirth, major childhood illnesses, child development, early learning, parenting, protection, care and support for children. 

“Pneumonia, diarrhoea, malaria, measles and AIDS, together account for half of all deaths of children under age five,” said Veneman.  “These diseases are largely preventable and sometimes it is a simple lack of knowledge that causes these deaths.  Facts for Life helps bridge that information gap.”

Facts for Life is available electronically in English, French and Spanish. The updated version contains a new chapter on Child Protection which provides information on keeping children safe from violent and harmful behaviors and practices.  

“Girls and boys must be protected from violence and abuse,” said Veneman, “Protecting children so that they can grow up in safe environments and reach their full potential can help break the cycle of poverty.”


This edition of Facts for Life is available in a PDF format and plain text file at http://www.factsforlifeglobal.org.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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 more information, please contact:

Roshan Khadivi, UNICEF New York
Tel + 1 212 326 7270,

Clelia Barbadoro, UNICEF Lesotho
Tel + 266-58882872




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