As a global child rights organisation working in 190 countries and territories, we are a leading advocate for children and their families in South Africa.
Established in 1946, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
Under apartheid in South Africa, UNICEF worked through non-governmental organisations to reach the most vulnerable. With the coming of democracy in 1994, the Pretoria office opened and we have continued to work towards bettering the lives of all children in South Africa.
The Country Office works with a range of partners in government, civil society, academia and various other sectors to create a safer and healthier environment for every child.
Through the support of both individual and corporate donors, UNICEF is able to undertake its work, both globally and in South Africa. There are many ways to donate to help children. The quickest and easiest way is to donate online.
How we work
In middle-income countries such as South Africa, prosperity and an expanding middle-class often mask high child and maternal death rates, malnutrition and low access to basic services. Addressing these pressing crises – in supporting national development priorities to ensure that all children are reached by essential services – is what UNICEF does in South Africa.
UNICEF supports child-focused research and the development of concrete evidence to inform advocacy and policy dialogue. In this, UNICEF contributes to the generation of child-centred statistics that can be used to monitor programmes to ensure that they reach the poorest and most deprived children and women.
Using its global, regional and local expertise, UNICEF helps to build a more capable government at central, provincial and local levels. Through the provision of technical support, UNICEF contributes to improved design, planning, implementation, monitoring and reporting on policies and programmes.
Scaling up best practice
UNICEF supports innovative programming that demonstrates a positive impact on the lives of children and can be replicated at scale. One such example comes from a public-private partnership called Techno Girls, which provides mentoring and corporate internships for disadvantaged secondary school girls who perform well in mathematics, sciences and technology.
Keeping track of progress
Comprehensive data that track, assess and evaluate results for the most deprived children are not always readily available. UNICEF works closely with key departments and Statistics South Africa to strengthen national capacity in monitoring and evaluation, including the tracking of disparities.