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Press centre

Press releases and news notes

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Press releases for 2002 can be found in the following archives:


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador visits Somalia
Nairobi, July 25, 2002- UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Tetsuko Kuroyanagi , will make a seven day visit to Somalia to highlight the humanitarian crisis facing women and children in that country.

Last chance to see 'The End of Polio'
New York, 2 August 2002 - The End of Polio: A Global Effort to End A Disease, a photography exhibition by acclaimed Brazilian photojournalist Sebastião Salgado, is on view until 16 August at the Aperture Foundation's Burden Gallery in New York. The show documents the massive effort driving the global campaign to secure a polio-free world.

2 million people still at risk of meningitis in Rwanda
Kigali, 10 September 2002 - The outbreak of meningitis in Rwanda continues to threaten the lives of some 2 million people, and fears are the disease may spread close to Kigali, the capital, endangering another one million people. Although the situation is improving in some areas, thanks to the vaccination programme supported by UNICEF and other partners, outbreaks have occurred in new areas, stretching the available resources to their limit.

UNICEF trucks in emergency food for drought-affected districts
Harare, 10 September 2002 - Twelve trucks, each carrying 30 metric tonnes (MT) of UNIMIX, arrived in Harare yesterday, after having crossed the border at Beitbridge last Sunday. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) hired the trucks to bring 360 MT of UNIMIX into Zimbabwe. These are part of an overall 600 MT consignment sourced from South Africa. The remaining 240 MT are expected to arrive in the country later this week. UNICEF is procuring another 600 MT of UNIMIX locally, bringing the total to 1200 MT, worth up to $700,000 USD.

Angola has a National Strategic plan against measles
LUANDA, 11 September 2002 - Angolan children from 6 months to 14 years old will be vaccinated during a massive campaign implemented by the Ministry of Health as part of the Government Strategic Plan for the Reduction of Measles Mortality. The campaign was made possible with the support of UNICEF, WHO and other partners.

85 child recruits released to their families by the Liberation Tigers
COLOMBO, 11 September 2002 - UNICEF is encouraged by the release of 85 child recruits by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam [LTTE] over the past few weeks.

Thousands of Palestinian children denied access to schools
JERUSALEM, 2 October 2002 - A month into the Palestinian school year, the UNICEF Special Representative in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, Pierre Poupard, today expressed serious concern over the number of Palestinian children being prevented from attending school by Israel-imposed restrictions.

UNICEF Celebrates 40 Years of Operations in Copenhagen
COPENHAGEN, 4 October 2002 - On October 5 UNICEF celebrates 40 years of supplying the world's children from its global warehouse and distribution center in Copenhagen.

Relief efforts for women and children in Ivory Coast ongoing
29 October 2002, Abidjan - UNICEF delivered emergency relief supplies to Bouaké and the surrounding towns of Tiebissou and Sakassou, in its ongoing efforts to alleviate the conditions of children and women affected by the country's crisis.

Radio Television Hong Kong wins UNICEF Child Rights Award
Tokyo/Hong Kong/Kuala Lumpur/Bangkok. 7 November 2002 - Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) has been named the winner of the 2002 ABU/CASBAA UNICEF Child Rights Award, which will be presented 7 November at the Asia Pacific Broadcasting Union's annual meeting in Tokyo.

Ali lends hope, visits projects in Kabul
Kabul, 18 November 2002 - Muhammad Ali, UN Messenger for Peace who is making his first trip to Afghanistan, started with a visit to Karte Sei High School, in western Kabul.

Second delivery of supplies distributed to Pakistan quake victims
ISLAMABAD, 28 November 2002 - UNICEF rushed in its second shipment of relief assistance to the earthquake victims in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. The consignment, comprising health supplies for 10,000 people to address first-aid, respiratory infections and common diseases, was delivered to the local civil administration for vulnerable people in the relief camps.

Iberoamerican writers,celebrities call for steps forward for children
New York, 26 November 2002 - A distinguished group of imminent Iberoamerican writers and celebrities led by Nobel prizewinner José Saramago and former President of the Republic of Colombia, Mr. Belisario Betancur issued an urgent call on behalf of chidren Wednesday.

UNICEF starts measles vaccinations in Congo
Geneva, December 17, 2002 - UNICEF today kicked off a major campaign to vaccinate 3.5 million children in the Democratic Republic of the Congo against measles.

State of the World's Children Launch: Why Children Must Be Heard
MEXICO CITY / BRUSSELS, 11 December 2002 - Asserting that tens of millions of children around the world feel disconnected from political institutions and lack trust in their governments, UNICEF said today that children must be given more of a voice and more ways to participate in decisions affecting their lives.

Children face drought in Eritrea and Ethiopia
GENEVA/NEW YORK/ADDIS ABABA/ASMARA, 6 December, 2002 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy today warned that drought-related illnesses in the Horn of Africa are severely affecting the population, and that women and children, "are already in the teeth of this destructive drought."

UNICEF hails 10th anniversary of largest broadcasting campaign for children in the world
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 6 December 2002 - Voices and views of children will dominate the airwaves as young people commandeer TV and radio stations to produce programming that reflect their views and dreams. The occasion is the International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), sponsored by UNICEF, which began 10 years ago with the participation of some 200 television stations around the world -- and now boasts over 3,000 broadcast outlets as partners, including hundreds of radio stations.

Immunization strategy for measles to lower child death rates
NEW YORK / GENEVA, 5 December 2002 - A comprehensive measles immunization strategy could prevent more than 2 million child deaths in Africa this decade, bringing the death toll from measles on the continent close to zero. UNICEF and WHO made this encouraging announcement at a recent board meeting of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

UNICEF to pick up pace on Girls’ Education
DAR ES SAALAM / GENEVA, 3 December 2002 – Declaring that “the education of girls is key to real progress in overcoming poverty,” UNICEF today announced a major initiative to get girls into school in 25 priority countries, mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

Huge inequality in educational achievement in every rich nation
Florence, 26 November - A new report from UNICEF provides the first "big picture" comparison of the performance of schools in the world's rich industrialized nations.

Star News India wins broadcasting award from UNICEF, IATAS
NEW YORK, November 25, 2002 - Star News has been named as the winner of the special International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) Award, conferred jointly by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (IATAS) and UNICEF. UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Mia Farrow, presented the award on Monday, 25 November at the 30th International Emmy Awards Gala at the Sheraton New York. The award highlights the efforts of broadcasters worldwide to promote children's rights and children's participation in broadcasting.

UNICEF: Global response to children and AIDS grossly inadequate
WINDHOEK / NAIROBI / GENEVA/ NEW YORK, 26 November, 2002 - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said the global response to the crisis of children orphaned by AIDS is grossly inadequate. Without a greater sense of urgency and collective action, millions more children will put themselves at enormous risk in their struggle to stay alive.

UNICEF brings "magic" to the international Emmys Festival
NEW YORK, 24 November 2002 -- UNICEF launched a new website which showcases media projects by, with and for children called MAGIC at the International Emmys Festival in New York today.

Malnutrition down by half among Iraqi children
BAGHDAD / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 21 November, 2002 - Child malnutrition rates in the south and center of Iraq have fallen to the lowest level since they peaked in 1996, according to a new survey released today by UNICEF.

UNICEF says children deserve a sporting chance
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 19 November 2002 – One day after international boxing star Muhammad Ali sent an open letter to the children of Afghanistan, UNICEF today praised the power of sport in children’s lives, saying that it is a key component in their healthy development and an increasingly important tool for reaching out to young people and adolescents.

Low investment in immunization and vaccines threatens global health
DAKAR / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 20 November 2002 - The State of the World's Vaccines and Immunization report, released today warns that if urgent and strategic action is not taken to close the gaps in funding, research and global immunization coverage, the world will see the re-introduction of old diseases and the emergence of new infections. The report will be launched in Dakar, Senegal, at the 2nd Partners' Meeting of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI).

West Africa launches final assault on polio
New York/Geneva, 12 November 2002 -- With West African countries in the midst of vaccinating millions of children against polio, the world's largest vaccine manufacturer, Aventis Pasteur, has donated 30 million doses of oral polio vaccine to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.

Afghanistan is among worst places on globe to be pregnant
NEW YORK / KABUL, 6 November 2002 - Surveys conducted by UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in four parts of Afghanistan have found that Afghan women suffer from one of the highest levels of maternal mortality in the world, with almost half of all deaths among women aged 15 to 49 coming as a result of pregnancy and childbirth.

UNICEF urges demobilization, integration of child soldiers
Bangkok, 30 October - Noting that up to one quarter of the world's estimated 300,000 child soldiers are currently serving in the East Asia and Pacific region, the head of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) Wednesday called for new and concerted efforts to demobilize them and assist their reintegration into society.

Experts say urgent action needed to ensure stable vaccine supply
COLD SPRING HARBOR, NY, 23 October 2002-Public health experts today called for urgent action to address current shortages of key vaccines and to improve the stability of future supplies. The call was made at a scientific colloquium organized by the Sabin Vaccine Institute held in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, New York from October 23 -25. The colloquium will examine the current shortages of vaccine supply affecting industrialized and developing nations, and propose long-term solutions to remedy vaccine shortages.

America's Fund for Afghan Children donates $750,000 for measles
WASHINGTON/NEW YORK, 15 October 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies have received a donation of $750,000 from America's Fund for Afghan Children (AFAC) to give a final boost to a measles vaccination campaign in Afghanistan and to support other ongoing health initiatives in that war-torn country.

Famous writers to edit non-fiction book series for UNICEF
FRANKFURT, 12 October 2002 - Nobel Laureate Toni Morrison and renowned Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe announced today that they will spearhead a major book series for UNICEF focused on issues affecting children's lives.

Bhutan "Move for Health" walk mobilizes over $1 million
Thimpu / Geneva / New York. 10 October 2002 - There are few Ministers who would walk over 500 kilometers for the health of their country, but Lyonpo Sangay Ngedup, Bhutan's Minister of Health and Education, is different. The Minister has just completed a 16-day walk across the country's difficult terrain, mobilizing attention to the importance of health as well as mobilizing over $1 million dollars (US) for Bhutan's Health Trust Fund.

Despite conflict, Horn of Africa one step from polio-free status
25 September, Nairobi, Kenya - With only two cases of polio paralysis to date in 2002 in Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan, the Horn of Africa is extremely close to being polio-free. However to finish the job, the Horn countries must continue mass polio immunization campaigns and urgently require the funding to carry these out.

"Precious time has been lost" as HIV/AIDS soars in Eastern Europe
NEW YORK, 18 September 2002 - HIV/AIDS is spreading at a faster rate in parts of Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS) than anywhere else in the world, says UNICEF in a new report, The Social Monitor. The report, tracking the well-being of children and young people in the region, warns that HIV/AIDS is the greatest threat to their health as it moves - virtually unchecked - into the mainstream population in a number of countries.

UNICEF issues global challenge to world leaders
JOHANNESBURG/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 30 August 2002 - UNICEF today issued a bold challenge to world leaders attending the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Noting that access to clean water can save the lives of millions of children, UNICEF's Executive Director, Carol Bellamy, called on leaders to ensure that every school, in every corner of the world, be equipped with clean water and separate sanitary facilities for boys and girls over the course of the next decade.

UNICEF: Breastfeeding still best for infants and mothers
NEW YORK, 1 August 2002 - Marking the start of World Breastfeeding Week today, UNICEF encouraged more hospitals to join the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative, noting that recent studies provide yet more evidence of the many benefits of breastfeeding for both infants and mothers.

UNICEF praises Afghanistan for accepting treaty on land mines
NEW YORK, 29 July 2002 - UNICEF hailed the Government of Afghanistan for deciding today to accede to the Ottawa Convention banning land mines.

Japan gives major boost to education in Afghanistan
TOKYO / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 26 July - The Japanese Government has donated $10.8 million for education programmes for displaced children returning to their villages and refugee children returning to Afghanistan, UNICEF announced today, saying the funds were urgently needed to keep up with the large numbers of children seeking to resume learning.

Reaching women with tetanus vaccine could save thousands of lives
Bamako / Geneva / New York, 26 July 2002 -UNICEF today announced concentrated efforts to reach women in poor, hard-to-reach communities with vaccine against maternal and neonatal tetanus, an effort it said could potentially save the lives of thousands of women and their new-born children.

Singer Angélique Kidjo appointed as UNICEF Special Representative
NEW YORK, 25 July 2002 - Calling her one of the most creative and forward thinkers in the music world, UNICEF today announced the appointment of West African star singer Angélique Kidjo as a UNICEF Special Representative. Ms. Kidjo joins a respected and storied roster of international figures who have helped UNICEF advocate on behalf of children.

Amusement parks to raise money for UNICEF
NEW YORK, 24 July 2002 - In a ceremony here today, UNICEF and the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions announced a global fundraising alliance for children under the banner: "Your Change for A Real Change."

Donors can help save 6 million children in Southern Africa crisis
NEW YORK, 18 July 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund today urged the world community to help save the lives of more than 6 million children who are at immediate risk of death in southern Africa due to a crippling combination of natural and man-made crises.

Joint report details escalating global orphans crisis due to AIDS
BARCELONA, SPAIN, 10 July 2002 - A major international report released today finds that an already grim global orphan crisis is set to get much worse as more and more adults with children die from AIDS, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. The report, Children on the Brink, calls for action at all levels to assist children, families and communities who are affected by the unprecedented emergency.

UN study says youth are uninformed about HIV/AIDS
NEW YORK / GENEVA, 2 July 2002 - In an alarming new finding, a United Nations report released today says the vast majority of the world's young people have no idea how HIV/AIDS is transmitted or how to protect themselves from the disease. Yet the study also shows that adolescence is the time when the majority of people become sexually active.

Europe declared polio-free after long campaign
Copenhagen 21 June 2002 -- The historic decision to certify the WHO European Region polio-free was announced today at a meeting of the European Regional Commission for Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (RCC) in Copenhagen. For some 870 million people living in the region's 51 Member States, this landmark decision is the most important public health milestone of the new millennium.

UNICEF hails new Afghan government; urges investment in children
June 20 2002- We are currently witnessing an unprecedented opportunity for national unity and peace in Afghanistan. This past week delegates came from all over the country to participate in the Loya Jirga in Kabul, a grand assembly convened to nominate a transitional government. The pivotal meeting is a major step toward a democratic society, and reflects the desire of Afghanistan's people for a representative government that will truly strive to fulfill their needs. UNICEF sincerely hopes that the dreadful situation of Afghan children and women, who have long endured the brunt of the decades of deprivation, will be accorded the highest priority. (Offical statement attributable to Carol Bellamy)

Unicef welcomes release of Ugandan children
NEW YORK, 14 June 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) welcomed the release of nearly 100 women and children by the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), but called for the unconditional release of thousands more children still held.

Partners launch measles drive to vaccinate 14 million in Kenya
NAIROBI, June 13, 2002 - In an effort to prevent 18,000 infant and child deaths this year alone, Kenya will conduct its first countrywide mass measles vaccination campaign from June 17-23, 2002. The Kenya campaign, with support from the partners in the Measles Initiative, aims to vaccinate nearly 14 million children between the ages of nine months and 14 years, about 40 percent of the country's population.

Too many children working, UNICEF says
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 12 June 2002 - Alarmed by new figures that say one in six children work, including millions in slave-like forms of forced and bonded labour, UNICEF today called on all governments to move immediately and decisively to end the disturbing phenomenon.

UNICEF appoints Femi Kuti as Special Representative
New York/Banff, 12 June 2002 -- Calling him one of the most vital figures in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Children's Fund today officially introduced internationally renowned musician Femi Anikulapo-Kuti as its newest Special Representative, at the 2002 BANFF Television Festival in Canada.

Not by food alone: UNICEF urges action against malnutrition
ROME, 11 June 2002 - UNICEF said today that global success in lowering child malnutrition could only be achieved through comprehensive action on numerous fronts - including many not directly related to food.

Indian Government launches Hep B vaccine drive for children
ROME, 11 June 2002 - UNICEF said today that global success in lowering child malnutrition could only be achieved through comprehensive action on numerous fronts - including many not directly related to food.

GAVI and China team up to vaccinate millions of children
BEIJING / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 31 May 2002 - As part of its commitment to protect the lives of millions of children around the world, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) and The Vaccine Fund will sign an agreement on 1 June with the Chinese Government to vaccinate children in China against hepatitis B, with a special focus on the 12 poorest provinces.

UNICEF applauds Japanese donation to eradicate polio
TOKYO/NEW YORK/GENEVA, 30 May 2002 - UNICEF today announced a donation of US $17 million from the Japanese Government for polio eradication and the control of other infectious diseases in six countries - Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria and Sudan. The contribution brings the total Japan has contributed this year to UNICEF for polio eradication and other child health initiatives to US $31.6 million.

In new videos, World Cup stars cheer on kids
30 May 2002, NEW YORK, LONDON, GENEVA, TOKYO, SEOUL: Numerous current and former World Cup stars will be appearing in an historic video series on behalf of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) that will be officially launched today, the eve of the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Seoul, South Korea.

FIFA World Cup 2002 memorabilia to be auctioned for UNICEF
NEW YORK, LONDON, GENEVA, TOKYO, SEOUL, 28 May 2002 - An unprecedented online auction of football gear signed by such luminaries as Brazilian legend Pelé and popstar Anastacia has begun, and will run through the entire 2002 FIFA World Cup.

Governments 'Say Yes' as agreement is reached on global goals
NEW YORK, 10 May 2002 - The United Nations wrapped up its Special Session on Children late Friday with unanimous agreement on a new agenda for the world's children, including 21 specific goals and targets for child health, education and protection over the next decade, UNICEF announced.

UNICEF hails promise for children by Peru President
NEW YORK, 10 May 2002 - UNICEF today hailed the President of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, who pledged in a speech to the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday that his government would reduce military spending in order to redirect public funds to basic social services for children.

Children Issue Statement To World Leaders at the UN
NEW YORK, 10 May 2002 - Declaring that "we want a world fit for children, because a world fit for us is fit for everyone," young people from more than 100 nations sent a powerful message to world leaders gathered at the United Nations Special Session on Children this week.

Pollution-Related Diseases Kill Millions of Children a Year
NEW YORK, NAIROBI, GENEVA, 9 May 2002 -- Every day 5,500 children die from diseases caused by consuming water and food polluted with bacteria, according to a new study released by three United Nations agencies.

World Leaders descend on New York for sake of children
NEW YORK, 7 May 2002 - Some 60 heads of state and government are descending on New York this week for the United Nations Special Session on Children, but the May 8-10 meeting will be a magnet for more than just political leaders. An extraordinary array of leading figures from business, culture, the arts, academia, and religion will enliven UN headquarters as the world focuses on the future of its children.

First exhibition depicting massive global effort to eradicate polio opens in New York
New York, 13 May 2002 - The first ever photographic exhibition depicting the epic story behind the largest public health initiative in history - the bid to eradicate polio globally by 2005 - opens in New York on 16 May. The images, captured by world acclaimed Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado tell the polio eradication story in a way that it has never been told before - from depicting the ravages of the disease on children to the heroic efforts to deliver vaccine in conflict-ridden countries.

United Nations Member States Poised to Endorse Wide-Ranging Goals for Children
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 26 April 2002 - Member States of the United Nations are expected to adopt a wide-ranging series of goals at a global conference next month in New York that will place children back at the top of the world's agenda and address the pressing issues of child mortality, AIDS, exploitation and poverty.

Communities roll up their sleeves to roll back malaria
GENEVA/NEW YORK, April 25, 2002 - In celebrating Africa Malaria Day, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organization and other Roll Back Malaria partners have commended a new government-led initiative that is providing rapid, appropriate, effective and affordable malaria treatment to poor populations in some African countries.

We can beat AIDS, TB, and malaria, UN Agencies say
GENEVA/NEW YORK , 22 April 2002 - A new joint report by UNAIDS, UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO) released today says that with the right intervention at the right time AIDS, TB and Malaria can be prevented and treated.

Record number of children to be official delegates at upcoming UN Special Session
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 26 April 2002 - Member States of the United Nations are expected to adopt a wide-ranging series of goals at a global conference next month in New York that will place children back at the top of the world's agenda and address the pressing issues of child mortality, AIDS, exploitation and poverty.

UN finds one in twelve children dies before age five

GENEVA / NEW YORK, 18 April 2002 - One out of twelve children will die before age five, almost all from preventable causes, the United Nations announced today as it released an updated version of its landmark publication on the world's children. The child mortality rate and other statistics contained in the report lend gravity to the basic United Nations assertion that serious investment in the rights and development of children is essential to overcoming poverty.

UNICEF hails global progress towards elimination of maternal and neo-natal tetanus
NEW YORK/GENEVA, 17 April 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) today announced that 15,000 newborn deaths from tetanus were averted last year. The number of neonatal tetanus deaths that occurred last year was 200,000 reduced from 215,000 in 1999. The impact is largely due to the implementation of accelerated activities to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus in several countries, and the result of an effective partnership between Ministries of Health, UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA and other partners. The goal is to eliminate the disease by 2005.

Polio pushed to lowest levels in history
NEW YORK, WASHINGTON/LONDON/GENEVA/NAIROBI, 16 April 2002 - With only 537 polio cases reported globally in 2001, efforts to eradicate the disease have driven the incidence of polio to its lowest point in history.

UNICEF says vaccine supply at risk
CAPE TOWN, 10 April 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund warned today that the world is experiencing vaccine shortages serious enough to jeopardize immunization programmes for children in both developing and industrialized countries.

World leaders to take centre stage at UN Special Session on Children
NEW YORK, 5 April 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund said today that world leaders are poised to take centre stage at the upcoming Special Session on Children this May, noting that 72 Heads of State and Government have so far committed to attending.

UN Condemns the Detention of Health Workers in Sudan
New York, 1 April, 2002 - The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have condemned the recent detention of fourteen health workers in Sudan, saying the incident represents a major setback to the polio eradication effort in Sudan and other countries affected by conflict.

UNICEF expresses alarm over the fate of captive children
New York, 29 March 2002 -- UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy expressed alarm today over the dangers faced by thousands of abducted girls and boys caught in the midst of a major military offensive that has escalated dramatically in southern Sudan in recent days.

UNICEF rushes assistance to quake-stricken survivors in northern Afghanistan
NEW YORK, GENEVA, 27 March 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) delivered 70 tonnes of emergency supplies to the thousands of quake survivors in the Baghlan province of northern Afghanistan hours after the earthquake hit. Today, a second UNICEF convoy arrived in the worst affected towns of Nahrin and Burka, transporting additional emergency materials - including desperately needed food, medicine and shelter.

Afghanistan's schools triumphantly open; UNICEF calls it 'reminder to all of us'
KABUL / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 23 March 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund today lauded the Afghan Interim Administration for its "relentless commitment to education," as 3,000 schools across Afghanistan threw open their doors to more than 1.5 million girls and boys, many of whom were entering a formal classroom for the first time in six years.

Children's role in peace and security to be focus of global conference
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 13 March 2002 - Eight weeks from today world leaders will gather in New York City for a major conference focused on global progress for children and the key role that investment in children can play in building global peace and security, the United Nations announced today.

Unfinished business: Global push to save 11 million children
Stockholm/Geneva/New York, 12 March 2002 - Almost 11 million children die every year from preventable and treatable causes, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Every Day, Every Minute, A Woman Dies Giving Birth
NEW YORK, 8 March, 2002 - Every minute a woman dies while pregnant or giving birth, the United Nations Children's Fund said today, calling for the world to do more to prevent maternal mortality - one of the few measures of human progress to remain virtually unchanged since 1990.

UNICEF calls for release of child soldiers by LRA
NAIROBI / GENEVA / NEW YORK, 5 March 2002 - Fearful that renewed conflict could put thousands of children and young people at risk, the United Nations Children's Fund called today for the immediate and unconditional release of all children abducted in recent years by the Lord's Resistance Army, the rebel group fighting the Ugandan government from bases in northern Uganda and southern Sudan.

Huge logistical operation heralds start of back-to-school campaign in Afghanistan
ISLAMABAD, 18 February 2002 - Two school stationery kits every minute will start rolling off the production line today at UNICEF's classroom materials packing plant in Peshawar, northern Pakistan, marking the start of a huge logistical operation to bring education to Afghan children. The plant will repackage and distribute the kits, each serving 70 pupils and teachers, over the next six weeks as part of the organization's support for the Afghanistan Ministry of Education.

Bellamy and Otunnu hail entry into force of Optional Protocol on Child Soldiers
NEW YORK, 12 February 2002 - The Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict, Olara Otunnu and UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, today hailed the entry into force of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict. The protocol prohibits the use of child soldiers.

UN Report says Chernobyl disaster still hurting millions
NEW YORK, 6 February 2002 - The United Nations called today for an entirely new approach to helping millions of people impacted by the Chernobyl nuclear accident, saying that 16 years after the incident those affected remain in a state of "chronic dependency," with few opportunities and little control over their destinies. The UN warned that populations in Belarus, the Russian Federation and Ukraine would continue to experience general decline unless significant new measures are adopted to address health, the environment and joblessness.

Five leading global health organizations announce a new initiative to save children from measles deaths in Africa as part of a global effort to reduce child mortality
WASHINGTON, February 6, 2002 - Five leading global public health organizations announced today a new initiative that will focus on immunizing children against measles to save 1.2 million lives in Africa over the next five years, as part of a global effort to reduce child mortality.

Business-like approach to funding health programs in poor countries may save more than two million lives in 5 years
NEW YORK, 1 February - Two years after its official launch at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, or GAVI, reports that its goal-oriented approach to development aid could raise basic immunization rates in funded countries by 17 percentage points and increase coverage of hepatitis B vaccine from 18 to 65 percent by 2007, ultimately saving more than two million lives, according to new data released at the World Economic Forum today.

UNICEF continues work for children of Gujarat
New Delhi/Bhuj, 24 January 2002: A year ago, an estimated three million children were directly affected by a 7.9 Richter scale earthquake in Gujarat. Over 12,000 primary schools and hundreds of Anganwadi and sub-health centres were destroyed or damaged. Since then, UNICEF, one of the first agencies to bring in humanitarian assistance, has been working with the State and people of Gujarat to help children and their families. The total commitment of UNICEF to the relief and rehabilitation efforts has reached US$ 25 million, UNICEF'S largest emergency assistance to India.

UNICEF launches programme to protect children from UXO/mine Injuries
Hanoi (24 January 2002) - Today UNICEF Viet Nam announced the launch of a new programme to reduce the nation-wide prevalence of casualties from bombs, landmines and other unexploded ordnance (UXO).

UNICEF rushes relief supplies to volcano zone
NAIROBI / GENEVA / ABIDJAN, 21 January 2002 -- The United Nations Children's Fund is rushing an additional 60 tonnes of emergency supplies to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo in an urgent effort to reach the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by a violent volcanic eruption and lava flow near the town of Goma last Thursday.

UNICEF hails entry into force of optional protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography
NEW YORK, GENEVA, 18 January 2002 - UNICEF today hailed the entry into force of the Optional Protocol on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography. Negotiated over a number of years with governments, experts and NGOs, the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child seeks to raise the standards in protecting children from all forms of sexual exploitation and abuse.

UNICEF hails South Asian leadership for children
Kathmandu / New York, 5 January 2002 - UNICEF today welcomed the signing of two important conventions on the trafficking of women and children and child welfare by seven South Asian nations. Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka signed the conventions this week at a summit of South Asian leaders in Kathmandu, Nepal.

UNICEF and cultural Olympiad partner to vaccinate 1.4 million children
NEW YORK / ATHENS, 6 December 2002 - UNICEF and the Cultural Olympiad, a new international organization set up to highlight the relationship between sports and culture, today began a partnership that will give over 1 million children a better chance of growing up free from disability and disease.

UNICEF rushes in supplies for earthquake victims
ISLAMABAD, 16 November 2002, In the aftermath of the three earthquakes which jolted the Northern Areas of Pakistan on November 2 & 3, causing considerable loss of life and leaving thousands destitute and homeless, UNICEF responded by sending in a rapid assessment team and providing supplies to evacuees at the makeshift camp at Gonar farm near Gilgit.

In Afghanistan, children back to school in droves, survey shows
Thursday, 11 July 2002 -- Ongoing results received from the nationwide assessment of learning spaces, being jointly conducted by the Afghanistan Ministry of Education and UNICEF, is indicating that there has been a massive return of children - both boys and girls - to schools around the country.

UNICEF opens summer camps for Palestinian children
GAZA, 6 July 2002 - A record number of Palestinian children will have a chance to attend child-friendly summer camps this year, with the first of more than 180 such camps opening in the Occupied Palestinian Territory today, UNICEF said.

Norway donates tons of high-protein biscuits to Angola
Luanda, Angola - 28 June 2002 - The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs airlifted a total of 70.56 metric tons of BP-5 high protein biscuits to Luanda, Angola, on 26-27 June. This tonnage complements Norway's recent donation in kind of 108 metric tons of BP-5 high protein biscuits that arrived on 19 June in the Port of Luanda.

UNICEF mobilizing emergency operation for Southern Africa
NEW YORK, 26 June 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund is gearing up to provide assistance to Southern Africa, which is poised on the brink of a major humanitarian crisis

Canada provides $5.5 million for children in Angola
NEW YORK, 21 June 2002 -- The Canadian Government has provided $5.5 million (Canadian) to UNICEF to jump-start a major measles vaccination campaign in Angola, where a recent peace deal has led to the opening of regions not accessed by aid agencies in years.

Angola prepares to vaccinate over 3 million children against polio
Luanda, Angola - 21 June 2002: Angola's first, nation-wide round of synchronised, cross-border Polio National Immunisation Days (NIDs) for 2002 will take place from 21-23 June. Targeting over 3 million children under 5 years of age, the Polio NIDs are led by the Angolan Ministry of Health with the full involvement of provincial governments and municipal administrations. Angola remains one of only 10 countries in the world in which the wild polio-virus is still present, while today, Europe is being declared polio-free.

Sri Lankan rebels agree to release children recruited as soldiers
Colombo, 20th June 2002 - Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels assured the United Nations Children's Fund, that it will not recruit anyone under the age of 18 years in their armed forces.

Nationwide vaccination campaign launched in Burundi
BUJUMBURA, 19 June 2002 - The National Immunization Days for Measles and Polio were launched on Monday with a call by the Vice President's wife, Mrs. Oda Ndayizeye, for all mothers to protect the lives of their children by having them vaccinated. This campaign, which is taking place 17-28 June and 23-26 July, seeks to vaccinate 3.3 million children between the ages of 9 months and 14 years against measles and 627,720 children between 0-59 months against polio.

UN urges 'Day of Tranquillity" in Burundi for vaccination campaign
BUJUMBURA / NAIROBI, 12 June 2002 - Concerned that continued fighting will hinder vaccination campaigns aiming to reach over three million Burundian children, United Nations officials in Burundi called today on all parties to the conflict to observe 'Days of Tranquillity'.

Quarterly reports show funding urgently needed
5 June 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund today issued a series of updates on emergency donor appeals. The reports detail the humanitarian conditions of countries in crisis for which appeals were launched in the beginning of 2002. Without an immediate infusion of donor aid, UNICEF's capacity to assist children and their mothers will be hindered, several reports reveal. Thier lives are threatened by disease, conflict, hunger and poverty.

Statement on Humanitarian aid to the region (Republic of Congo)

30 May 2002, The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, in concert with the UN country team in the Republic of Congo, which includes the World Food Programme, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, United Nations Children's Fund, United Nations Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, the International Organisation for Migration and the World Health Organisation, today called on the warring parties in that country to enter into negotiations to guarantee safe humanitarian access to the most affected regions of the Republic of Congo, where tens of thousands of displaced people are believed to have found refuge in forests or small villages.

UNICEF airlifts more emergency relief supplies for war-torn Liberia
Monrovia, May 30, 2002 - A UNICEF chartered flight arrives in Monrovia on 31 May, 2002, with over 40 metric tonnes of emergency relief supplies intended for use by internally displaced persons in Liberia.

Southern Africa food insecurity disproportionately impacting women and children
NAIROBI, 16 May 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund has warned that the unfolding food crisis in southern Africa threatens to become a major humanitarian catastrophe if an immediate and adequate response is not mounted.

UN agencies warn of deteriorating situation in Democratic People's Republic of Korea
April 30 2002, NEW YORK - The already severe humanitarian crisis in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea will worsen dramatically within weeks unless the international community pledges more aid immediately, the United Nations warned today.

Afghanistan determined to eradicate polio
Kabul, Afghanistan - 16 April 2002: Afghanistan is on the verge of a major public health victory. In a nation-wide campaign being held from 16-18 April 2002, nearly six million Afghan children will be vaccinated against polio, bringing the country a step closer to stopping transmission of the wild poliovirus in Afghanistan by the end of this year.

Closing gaps to achieve Education for All
16 April 2002 - In a world where global economic prosperity is increasing, about 113 million primary age children are not in school, nearly 60 per cent of them girls. Some 24 million of those enrolled drop out before completing 5 years of primary education, a level essential for basic literacy and numeracy. Children of previous generations who never entered or completed school are today's 850 million illiterate adults. Here, too, the majority are females. Denying this many people access to knowledge and the benefits of the global economy is a great danger to world peace and prosperity.

Statement on the humanitarian crisis in the occupied Palestinian territories
Wednesday, 10 April 2000 -The heads of the major international humanitarian assistance agencies, United Nations, and non-governmental organizations * meeting in Rome took the unprecedented step of collectively expressing their deep dismay and outrage over the military actions in the occupied Palestinian territories and the consequences of such actions in exacerbating the humanitarian crisis. Recent events have demonstrated continuing disregard for the protection of civilians.

UNICEF urges Mideast leaders to end violence for the sake of their children
GENEVA / NEW YORK, 4 April 2002 - With the unprecedented escalation in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the United Nations Children's Fund is deeply concerned by the extensive use of violence by both sides and its immediate and long-term effects on children. Over the last weeks, Israelis and Palestinians have terrorised each other's communities, without regard for homes, schools, health centres and other public spaces where children are present. The impact of escalating violence on children's rights and well-being is both immense and lasting.

Where are the Missing Ugandan Children?
NEW YORK / GENEVA, 4 April 2002 - The United Nations Children's Fund expressed grave concern today over the fate of thousands of children that the Ugandan government said were abandoned in southern Sudan over the weekend by the rebel Lord's Resistance Army (LRA.)

UNICEF opens tent-school in quake area
2 April 2002 - The first UNICEF "tent-school" opened Monday in the village of Dasht-i-Qazi, in the region of Nahrin were the earthquake hit last week in Afghanistan. Another 11 tent-schools are expected to be erected in the coming days, responding to the wishes of the people that their children be back in school to resume as normal a life possible in the area, following the devastation in Nahrin. The name of the school is Meer Mohammad Shaheed School, but it is popularly known as the Dasht-i-Qazi School.

Across borders, a commitment to the future
ALMA-ATA, 15 March 2002 - UNICEF is racing against time to meet the deadline of providing educational materials to one million children before the new school year commences 24 March 2002 after Navroz, the Afghanistan New Year. In CARK, UNICEF's assistance to the "Back-to-School" programme in Afghanistan focuses on the procurement and dispatch of school supplies for more than 450,000 primary-school children in Mazar-e-Sharif.

First supplies distributed to Kabul schools
Kabul, 12 March 2002: The first student and classroom materials for Kabul schoolchildren began to roll out of the capital's distribution centre Monday, as the nationwide "Back to School" campaign moved up a gear this week. The campaign, which is led by the Afghan Interim Administration and supported by UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, aims to equip up more than 1.5 million primary school age children in over 4,000 schools and other learning environments by the start of the new school year on 23 March.

UNICEF statement on UNHCR-Save the Children report
NEW YORK, 27 February 2002 -- UNICEF welcomes the efforts of UNHCR and Save the Children to throw light on the often unreported but widespread problem of child sexual abuse. We are particularly outraged that some humanitarian workers have betrayed the trust of the children they are charged to assist and protect.

UNICEF to set up Child Friendly Spaces in war-torn Liberia
Monrovia, Abidjan, Geneva, 26 February 2002 - UNICEF, together with its partners, is seeking to ensure that children's rights are protected in the present wave of insecurity in Liberia. It is particularly concerned that children not be drawn once again into an adult conflict - as they have been in the past.

Sudan must protect civilians and relief workers
NEW YORK, 21 February 2002 - We strongly condemn the 20 February 2002 attack by a Government of Sudan helicopter gunship that killed 17 civilians and wounded an unknown number of others at a food distribution site near Bieh, Sudan. The Sudanese authorities had cleared this food distribution, and vulnerable populations had gathered in the location to receive humanitarian relief assistance provided by the United Nations.

UNICEF Appeal: Reaching the vulnerable
New York, 11 February 2002, The United Nations Children's Fund today appealed to donors to reach even more deeply into their pockets to help the most vulnerable: children and women in countries in crisis.




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