UNICEF statement on UK funding cuts

30 April 2021

NEW YORK, 30 April 2021 – “The UK Government has informed us today that it intends to reduce UNICEF’s core funding by approximately 60 per cent. We are deeply concerned by this decision.

“Core funding enables UNICEF to be present on the ground before, during and after emergencies, allowing us to direct resources for children where they are most needed. In 2020, thanks to core funding, UNICEF was able to swiftly respond to the most pressing education, protection and health needs of children affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“Any cuts to these funds will have serious consequences for children.  

“It is too soon to know the full impact that this and future UK funding cuts will have on UNICEF programmes. However, we worry that children living in some of the world’s worst crises and conflicts will suffer the consequences.

“The UK Government has long been a key partner for UNICEF’s work for children around the world, helping to save and improve the lives of millions of vulnerable children and providing them with access to critical water, sanitation, education and health services. While we recognise the challenging financial situation currently facing governments, the needs of children have never been greater and it’s vital that this support is sustained in a context where COVID-19 threatens to reverse the gains we have made over the years.

“We continue to engage with the UK Government on our shared agenda for children worldwide and trust that the government will meet its commitment to reinstate the 0.7 per cent GNI aid spending target as soon as possible.”


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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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