UNICEF Achievements in 2020

UNICEF Philippines

UNICEF Philippines
Children of the coastal community of Bgy. Cabcab, San Andres, Catanduanes
UNICEF Philippines/2020/Jacques Gimeno
20 May 2021

2020 was a year unlike any other.

UNICEF works day in, day out, in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the children and young people who are most at risk and most in need.

We work to save their lives.

To protect their rights.

To keep them safe from harm.

To give them a childhood in which they’re protected, healthy and educated.

To give them a fair chance to fulfil their potential.

Jihan Meliton waits in line to receive the hygiene kit for her family in Marikina city
UNICEF Philippines/Dimatatac
Jihan Meliton, 38 and a mother of six, waits in line to receive the hygiene kit for her family in Sto. Niño, Marikina.

COVID-19 Response

UNICEF provided emergency support to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the Philippines and protect the lives of children and their families.

  • 83,000 health and community workers provided with personal protective equipment.
  • 15,000 health and sanitary workers trained on COVID-19 infection prevention and control for health care facilities.
  • Information campaigns promoting hygiene and safety practices to protect oneself and others from COVID-19 reached 34.2 million people.
  • Supporting the Department of Health to draft the COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout Policy Framework and Vaccine Deployment & Immunization Plan.
Measles vaccination in the Philippines
UNICEF Philippines/2019/Shehzad Noorani

Helping children survive and thrive

UNICEF addresses children’s needs in quality health care, adequate nutrition, immunization, adolescent health and early childhood development.

  • 6.6 million children vaccinated against polio and 4 million children vaccinated against measles and rubella through the Department of Health’s supplementary immunization campaigns.
  • 9,863 community service providers and mothers trained on maternal and child nutrition.
  • 31,043 children received better nutrition and care after their parents and caregivers received crucial information from our campaigns.
Mother during her child's check-up at a health center in Picong, Lanao del Sur
©UNICEF Philippines/2020/Maitem
A mother receives a fan with COVID-19 safety messages during her child's check-up at a health center in Picong, Lanao del Sur province, located in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM). The pandemic has exacerbated the vulnerabilities of the most disadvantaged children, pushing them further into poverty and depriving them of their rights. In the Philippines, BARMM has the highest child poverty rate at 68.2% (2018 Philippine Statistics Authority basic sectors poverty report), which is more than double the national rate.

Helping children live in safe and clean environments

With the onset of COVID-19, UNICEF quickly focused on WASH services as a critical part of its pandemic response.

  • Delivered lifesaving COVID-19 advisories to 25 million children on health, nutrition, and child protection through SMS blasts, social media, and free TV and radio.
  • Provided hygiene materials and installed emergency WASH equipment in healthcare and quarantine facilities and communities in COVID-19 hotspots.
Melecio sibling do their home work together during COVID-19
UNICEF/David Hogsholt
(L-R) Alyssa Melecio, 20, helps her younger brother Allen, 13, with his home work while younger sister Tresha Marie, 10, sits at table working on her own assignment. Schools are closed but public school students receive weekly ÒmodulesÓ or home work assignments from their teachers. The Melecio family is lucky to have Alyssa, an aspiring teacher help tutor her siblings.

Helping children learn

Children and young people face challenges in their education. UNICEF supports the Department of Education’s learning continuity programs to help ensure that children and adolescents continue to learn during the pandemic.

  • Developed e-books for 3 million children.
  • Created an online platform for the Alternative Learning System where 200,000 adolescents accessed learning modules.
  • Webinars on home-based early childhood education were attended by 73,000 parents, caregivers, social workers and teachers.
  • Learning materials and tents to serve as temporary classrooms were provided to 14,000 students affected by disasters.
A child in a blue shirt looks out of a window, the curtain hiding his face
UNICEF Philippines/2019/Jeoffrey Maitem
Al-Fatah (not his real name), 14, joined the Moro Islamic Liberation Front when he was 14 years old. “Joining the ranks to defend the Bangsamoro was a natural choice,” he said.

Protecting children from violence and exploitation

Filipino children continue to be at risk in their homes, schools, communities and online. UNICEF works to strengthen the systems that prevent and respond to violence against children and ensure children’s access to justice, and recovery programs.

  • Provided technical support to the government that led to the issuance of a joint memorandum circular to prioritize children’s rights during the pandemic.
  • Worked with the private sector on increasing child online safety during the lockdown.
  • Strengthened the capacity of social service workers and teachers on prevention and response to violence against children.
  • 38,155 Philippine Red Cross helpline callers were provided with psychosocial support during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A UNICEF staff member wearing a blue UNICEF-branded t-shirt and a face mask speaks to a parent carrying a baby
UNICEF Philippines/2020/Rosa May Maitem
UNICEF Philippines Health and Nutrition Officer Amina Lim plays with a baby during one of her field visits to check the situation of mothers and children affected by COVID-19 in Lanao del Sur.

Partnerships to protect and promote children's rights

  • In 2020, UNICEF worked with multi-national corporations, local companies and small to medium-sized businesses to support child development programs and humanitarian assistance in emergencies.
  • UNICEF Philippines is grateful to the Governments of Australia, Japan, Korea, Spain, the UK, and the US for their support to UNICEF regular programme and emerging advocacy areas alongside the pandemic response.