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Latest Press Releases, Media Advisories and News Notes

Archived press releases, 2002 - 1996

UNICEF starts measles vaccinations in Congo
Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - UNICEF today kicked off a major campaign to vaccinate 3.5 million children in the Congo against measles. (News Note)

State of the World's Children Launch: Why Children Must Be Heard
Wednesday, 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. (Press Release)

Bellamy in Mexico to launch UNICEF flagship report
Friday, 6 December 2002 – UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will launch UNICEF’s annual “State of the World’s Children” report in Mexico City this coming Wednesday, 11 December, asserting that children have a right to be heard in decisions that affect their lives.Mexican President Vicente Fox and First Lady Sahagún de Fox will lead a distinguished group of participants in the launch events, which will also include Latin American children. (Media Advisory)

Children face drought in Eritrea and Ethiopia
Friday, 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." Speaking from the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa, Bellamy said that hundreds of acutely malnourished children being fed in UNICEF-supported feeding centres in Ethiopia and Eritrea are, "the most potent harbinger of what is coming. These are the first signs of a creeping disaster." UNICEF is flying in aid. (Press Release)

UNICEF, Cultural Olympiad partner to vaccinate 1.4 million children
Friday, 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. The Cultural Olympiad will donate US $7 million to UNICEF's global immunization efforts, enabling UNICEF to reach 1.4 million children with life-saving vaccinations in poor, rural and hard-to-reach communities. (Press Release)

UNICEF hails 10th anniversary of largest broadcasting campaign for children in the world
Friday, 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. (Press Release)

Immunization strategy for measles to lower child death rates
Thursday, 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). (Joint press release)

UNICEF to pick up pace on Girls’ Education
Tuesday, 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. Speaking to a meeting of African education ministers here, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy announced the “25 by 2005” campaign to eliminate gender disparities in primary and secondary education. (Press Release)

Iberoamerican writers,celebrities call for steps forward for children
Tuesday, 26 November 2002 - A distinguished group of imminient 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.(News Note)

Second delivery of supplies distributed to Pakistan quake victims
Monday, 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.(News Note)

Huge inequality in educational achievement in every rich nation
Tuesday, 26 November 2002 - A new report from UNICEF provides the first "big picture" comparison of the performance of schools in the world's rich industrialized nations. In an effort to provide a reliable overview of how each country's education system is performing, UNICEF's Innocenti Research Centre has produced a new international league table by combining data from five separate tests covering reading literacy, maths and science. (Press Release)

Star News India wins broadcasting award from UNICEF, IATAS Monday, 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.(Press Release)

UNICEF: Global response to children and AIDS grossly inadequate
Tuesday, 26 November 2002 - As delegations from 22 Eastern and Southern African countries convened for a five-day workshop in Windhoek, Namibia to consider the actions needed to step-up the response to the orphan crisis in their region, UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy emphasized the extraordinary vulnerability of children orphaned by AIDS and 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, she said. (Press Release)

2002 Orphans and vulnerable children workshop kicks off
Monday, 25 November 2002 - Representatives of twenty-two Eastern and Southern African countries are convening to confront the crisis presented by the rapidly expanding population of children orphaned and affected by HIV/AIDS. The workshop has been organised by the Government of Namibia with the support of UNICEF, USAID, Family Health International, Norad, SIDA, Save the Children Alliance, HACI and UNAIDS. UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy and Stephen Lewis, the Special Envoy of the UN Secretary General for HIV/AIDS in Africa. (Press Release)

UNICEF brings "magic" to the international Emmys Festival
Sunday, 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. Media Activities and Good Ideas by, with and for Children or MAGIC is a comprehensive, international resource of information, advice and best practice on children and media. The MAGIC Bank, a searchable online database, includes examples of media projects from all over the world that have had a positive effect on children. (Press Release)

Malnutrition down by half among Iraqi children
Thursday, 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. The survey reveals that the rate of acute malnutrition among children has dropped from a high of eleven per cent in 1996 to four per cent this year. (Press Release)

UNICEF says children deserve a sporting chance
Wednesday 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. “Children have an inherent need to play, and it is their right to do so,” said Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF. (Press Release)

Low investment in immunization and vaccines threatens global health
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). Joint Press Release)

Bellamy begins whistle-stop journey across Africa
19 November 2002 – Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF, begins a five-nation tour of Africa this week, during which she will spotlight a series of major issues confronting children on the continent and around the world. Bellamy’s trip will focus on child immunization rates, children orphaned by AIDS, the education gap affecting girls, and the growing drought crisis in the Horn of Africa. (Media Advisory)

Ali lends hope, visits projects in Kabul
Monday, 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.

Muhammad Ali visits Kabul to lend support to struggling nation
Sunday, 17 November 2002 - Muhammad Ali, UN Messenger for Peace, was greeted this morning at Kabul airport at the beginning of a three-day visit to Afghanistan organized by the UNICEF and the World Food Programme (WFP). Mr. Ali hopes that his visit will help to refocus international attention on the reconstruction needs of Afghanistan.

UNICEF rushes supplies to earthquake-ravaged zone
Saturday, 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.(News Note)

Report: Urgent action needed to stop old and new diseases
A press briefing will be held to discuss the jointly produced report - The 2002 State of the World's Vaccine and Immunization - that warns that inadequate long term investment in immunization is a major cause of current vaccine shortages, and could lead to the re-emergence of diseases that had been controlled. (Media Advisory)

West Africa launches final assault on polio
Wednesday, 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. (Joint Press Release)

Radio Television Hong Kong wins UNICEF Child Rights Award
Thursday, 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.(News Note)

Afghanistan is among worst places on globe to be pregnant
Wednesday, 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. (Joint Press Release)

Aventis Pasteur to donate millions of polio vaccines for Africa
Wednesday, 6 November 2002 - UNICEF and WHO will announce Aventis Pasteur's donation of millions of doses of polio vaccine to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative to help immunize children against polio in Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, southern Sudan and other areas where polio vaccine is critically needed. (Media Advisory)

UNICEF urges demobilization, integration of child soldiers
Wednesday, 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. (Press Release)

Relief efforts for women and children in Ivory Coast ongoing
Tuesday, 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. Relief supplies distributed to the affected populations in these areas include: twelve emergency health kits (which will cover 120,000 persons over a period of three months); as well as hundreds of kilograms of milk powder; sleeping mats; blankets; and, other essential items. (News Note)

Experts say urgent action needed to ensure stable vaccine supply
Wednesday, 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. (Joint Press Release)

Uncertain vaccine supply tops agenda for experts meeting
The Sabin Vaccine Institute will convene a scientific colloquium on 23-25 October titled the "Global Vaccine Shortage: The Threat to Children and What to Do About It," where world experts will examine the current problems with maintaining vaccine supplies, and recommend lasting solutions for improving vaccine security. (Media Advisory)

America's Fund for Afghan Children donates $750,000 for measles
Tuesday, 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. (Press Release)

Famous writers to edit non-fiction book series for UNICEF
Friday, 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. (Press Release)

Bhutan "Move for Health" walk mobilizes over $1 million
Thursday, 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. (Press Release)

UNICEF Celebrates 40 Years of Operations in Copenhagen
Friday, 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. In 1962, the Government of Denmark offered free office and warehouse space to UNICEF to accommodate its global supply operations. (News Note)

Thousands of Palestinian children denied access to schools
Wednesday, 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. (News Note)

Despite conflict, Horn of Africa one step from polio-free status
Wednesday, 25 September 2002 - 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. (Press Release)

Executive Board meets to review programmes, make plans
Thursday, 19 September 2002- Concluding its formal work for the year, the UNICEF Executive Board addressed a number of financial and management issues and paid tribute to the departing Secretary of the Board, Mr. Denis Caillaux. (Executive Board update)

"Precious time has been lost" as HIV/AIDS soars in Eastern Europe
Wednesday, 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. (Press Release)

85 child recruits released to their families by the Liberation Tigers Wednesday, 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. (News Note)

Angola has a National Strategic plan against measles
Wednesday, 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. (News Note)

UNICEF trucks in emergency food for drought-affected districts
Tuesday, 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. (News Note)

2 million people still at risk of meningitis in Rwanda
Tuesday, 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. (News Note)

Africa Leadership Consultation on the crisis of orphans
9 September 2002 - At the urging of Nelson Mandela and Graça Machel, more than 30 key players in the fight against HIV/AIDS are convening for an urgent consultation on the crisis of the millions of children orphaned and made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS. The consultation is being held with the support of Stephen Lewis, the UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa. UNICEF and UNAIDS are sponsoring the meeting. (Media Advisory)

UNICEF issues global challenge to world leaders
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. (Press Release)

UNICEF: clean water key to building world truly fit for children
On the heels of a visit to drought stricken countries in Southern Africa - UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy has issued a bold challenge to world leaders attending the Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg. Noting that access to clean water can save the lives of millions of children, Ms. 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 girls and boys by the end of the decade. 30 August 2002 (Media advisory)

World Summit, visit to region in crisis, beckons Bellamy to Africa
Carol Bellamy, Executive Director, UNICEF travels to Malawi and Zambia to focus on the humanitarian crisis which has put more than 6 million children at risk, in southern Africa. Millions of people are living on the very edge of survival as the region struggles with drought and massive harvest failures. Ms. Bellamy's trip will highlight what is being done, and what has yet to be done, to save the lives of millions of children today and to invest in the lives of millions more children in the coming years. (Media Advisory)

Mia Farrow to visit Angola to bring hope to children
2 August 2002 - The American actress and UNICEF goodwill ambassador Mia Farrow will begin a one week tour of Angola on Monday to bring hope to the country's children and to put a spotlight on the dramatic challenges - and opportunities - that face a nation emerging from nearly three decades of war. (Media Advisory)

Last chance to see 'The End of Polio
Thursday, 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. (News Note)

UNICEF: Breastfeeding still best for infants and mothers
Thursday, 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. (Press Release)

UNICEF praises Afghanistan for accepting treaty on land mines
Monday, 29 July 2002 - UNICEF hailed the Government of Afghanistan for deciding today to accede to the Ottawa Convention banning land mines. (Press release)

Japan gives major boost to education in Afghanistan
Friday, 26 July 2002- 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. UNICEF has thus far distributed learning materials for more than 2.3 million Afghan children, along with 6,000 tents for temporary classrooms and 10 million textbooks. (Press Release)

Reaching women with tetanus vaccine could save thousands of lives
Friday, 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. (Press release)

Singer Angélique Kidjo appointed as UNICEF Special Representative
Thursday, 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. (Press release)

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador visits Somalia
Thursday, 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. Ms Kuroyanagi, a Japanese celebrity and strong advocate for children, will be in Somalia for a one-week visit starting today. She will travel to several locations in Somalia, where she is expected to tour UNICEF supported education, youth and health projects. (News Note)

Amusement parks to raise money for UNICEF
Tuesday, 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." (Press Release)

Abuja conference on trafficking postponed
Monday, 22 July 2002 - International Summit on Human Trafficking, Child Abuse, Child Labour and Slavery scheduled for 1 -3 August in Abuja, Nigeria has been postponed. (News Note)

Donors can help save 6 million children in Southern Africa crisis
Thursday, 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.

UNICEF to Mali for major neo-natal tetanus drive, launch of UNIJECT
The launch of Tetanus Toxoid Uniject, a groundbreaking injection device that will change the way immunizations are administered. This will be the first time globally that Uniject will be used with the tetanus toxoid (TT) vaccine, and the first time that non-health workers will administer vaccination by injection. Trip will take place from 25 July to 30 July. (Media Advisory)

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. (News note)

Joint report details escalating global orphans crisis due to AIDS
Wednesday, 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.

UNICEF opens summer camps for Palestinian children
Friday, 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. (News note)

UN study says youth are uninformed about HIV/AIDS
Tuesday, 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. These trends, which highlight why HIV/AIDS continues to spread so rapidly, are part of a landmark report, Young People and HIV/AIDS: Opportunity in Crisis. (Joint press release)