For every child, results
UNICEF works for the rights of every child, every day, across the globe.
UNICEF was established in the aftermath of World War II to help children whose lives and futures were at risk – no matter what country they were from.
The only thing that mattered to UNICEF was reaching children in need. What mattered was achieving results.
As UNICEF marks 75 years since its founding, the world now faces another momentous crisis: the COVID-19 pandemic. But through decades of challenges, UNICEF has remained undaunted and unwavering in its work for children.
Day-in and day-out, we work 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.
We are UNICEF. We stand for every child, everywhere. And we never give up.
Responding to COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic unleashed a global crisis upending children’s lives everywhere. Deep inequalities that have existed for too long have been exposed with children in the poorest countries and communities hit hardest.
UNICEF shipped half a billion items of personal protective equipment to 138 countries in 2020.
Responding rapidly, by the end of 2020, UNICEF reached:
- 106 million people with critical water, sanitation and hygiene services and supplies
- 3 billion people with information on the risks and safety precautions
- 2.5+ million health workers with personal protective equipment (PPE)
- 4 million health workers with training on infection prevention and control
Through its leadership in the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility, UNICEF has been instrumental in advancing equitable access to COVID-19 tests, treatments and vaccines.
6 WAYS UNICEF GETS RESULTS
1. Local presence, global reach
UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories. Our vast network of skilled and committed staff means we can take successful approaches from one place in the world and adapt them to meet challenges elsewhere, helping drive results for children and young people at a global scale.
30+ million safe births
in health facilities supported by UNICEF in 2020.
48 million out-of-school children
reached with early learning, primary and secondary education in 2020.
72.5 million more people
gained access to safe drinking water in 2018 – 2020.
“I regard UNICEF as my strongest support structure”
Livey, 31, has gone from being a left-to-die pregnant and HIV-positive teenager to becoming a fulfilled mother and an inspiring young mayor in Namibia. Her life tells a powerful story of courage and hope, in which UNICEF played a crucial role to help her not only survive, but also thrive.
2. Saving more lives for less money
UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions – and we are committed to making every dollar go further to save and improve children and young people’s lives. As one of the world’s largest buyers of lifesaving supplies such as vaccines and mosquito nets, UNICEF has unique leverage to negotiate the lowest prices. Buying big and being transparent enables us to shape markets, cut costs and increase efficiency – and, most importantly, save more lives.
>50% price reduction
for the pentavalent vaccine in 2016 that protects against 5 child-killing diseases.
US$173 million saved
on procurement of vaccines and other supplies for children in 2020.
US$1 invested = US$4 saved
emergency preparedness enables UNICEF to respond to crises faster, save more lives and reduce costs.*
*Figure based on data for 2014 – 2017.
“UNICEF gave me hope”
Juan Carlos was born during the Salvadoran Civil War. He lost all four limbs in a landmine accident at the age of 5. UNICEF provided him with support and rehabilitation services so he could grow up, graduate from law school, marry and pursue his passion of painting.
3. Emergency response and readiness
UNICEF is on the ground before, during and after humanitarian emergencies. Our global supply chain and local presence mean we can get help to where it's needed fast – we can ship lifesaving supplies almost anywhere in the world within 72 hours.
Just as important, UNICEF stays and delivers. How we respond in crises lays the foundation for long-term development, just as how we work in non-crisis situations helps communities to weather future shocks.
455 humanitarian emergencies
responded to in 152 countries in 2020, beyond COVID-19.
39 million+ people
reached with safe water in humanitarian situations in 2020.
4 million children
treated for severe acute malnutrition in humanitarian situations in 2020.
"UNICEF wanted us to be happy"
Salamatu Korsu, 10, experienced the horror of one of the worst health crises in recent history: the Ebola outbreak. Her neighbourhood in Sierra Leone recorded some of the first cases of Ebola infection in 2014. UNICEF supported the hospital where the young girl was treated and provided care after her discharge.
4. New solutions to old problems
Innovation is at the heart of UNICEF’s ability to achieve results for children and young people. Our global innovation centre helps scale up proven solutions, while a dedicated innovation fund provides financial resources to promising early-stage projects. The results? A new wave of technologies and products to help us reach the hardest-to-reach children and communities.
"I was able to stay healthy. I owe this to UNICEF"
Agamemnon Stefanatos was born in 1953, just after a massive earthquake had ravaged his native island in Greece, killing more than 1,000 people. He survived because of the timely arrival of milk and clothes for newborns that UNICEF had shipped as part of its relief efforts.
5. Powerful partnerships
Strong partnerships with governments, NGOs, civil society and the private sector make UNICEF’s work for children possible. In turn, our credibility, impartiality and record of achieving results make us a partner of choice.
Global brands – from Ikea and Lego to Microsoft – leverage their resources and drive innovation to help children and young people. Our exceptionally generous supporters make a difference through donating, volunteering and being advocates for children in their communities.
And of course, UNICEF’s ability to achieve results for every child depends on our most important partners – governments, which provide critical resources that enable us to reach children wherever they are.
Almost half the world's children
reached each year with lifesaving vaccinations, through efforts by UNICEF, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other partners.
partnership between UNICEF and the World Bank to invest in education and skills training for youth in support of Generation Unlimited.
30+ million bars of soap
and other hygiene products donated by Unilever to reach people around the world with critical hand-washing supplies in 2020.
“Everything is going back to normal.”
Nine-year-old Tabarak and her family were forced to flee their home in Mosul, Iraq, when she was in kindergarten. Today she's back with her friends and attending a school that was rehabilitated with UNICEF’s support.
6. An influential voice for children
UNICEF is the world’s leading voice for – and with – children. Impartial and non-political, we are never silent about violations of children’s rights.
Our Goodwill Ambassadors help inspire people around the world to support the cause of children.
In all we do, we work to engage and empower young people to have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.
participated in marking the 30th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 2019.
*Ranking by Twiplomacy