Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore on the COVID-19 pandemic

18 March 2020

NEW YORK, 18 March 2020 – “One week since COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, the number of cases continues to soar around the world. Hundreds of millions of children are not in school. Parents and caregivers are working remotely whenever they can. Borders have been closed. Lives have been upended.

“These are uncharted waters for all of us. At UNICEF, we are fighting a new virus, debunking myths and battling misinformation, all while looking after the well-being of our staff and our own families. 

“Our life-saving work to provide children with health, education, nutrition and protection has never been more critical. With millions of children uprooted, affected by wars, dying from preventable causes, out of school, or missing out on essential vaccines, the need for support has never been greater.

“UNICEF is working to help prevent the spread of the virus among communities in the affected countries. We are sharing accurate information on how to keep families safe, providing hygiene and medical kits to schools and health clinics, and mitigating the impact of the outbreak on children’s access to health, education and social services.

“Now more than ever, we count on our donors to continue supporting our mission for those with nothing and no one – despite these difficult times.”

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For more information about COVID-19 including guidance for children, families and schools, visit https://www.unicef.org/coronavirus/covid-19

Media Contacts

Najwa Mekki
UNICEF New York
Tel: +1 917 209 1804

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

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