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Supplies and Logistics


UNICEF Image: education
© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0211/Noorani
A girl smiles in a UNICEF tent school, on the first day of classes in the remote village of Jacquot Merlin, above Port-au-Prince, the capital. The supplies came from a UNICEF School-in-a-Box.

Access to appropriate educational supplies is essential to the fulfilment of children’s right to education. UNICEF works with governments, NGOs and communities to assess needs and procure these supplies where appropriate. Evidence from many countries shows that when families have to buy educational materials themselves, such as exercise books and text books, and the greater the percentage of family income spent on this, the less likely it is for children to attend school. Read more about basic education and gender equality here.

Education supplies

In 2015, the value of educational supplies procured (excluding textbooks and construction) totalled $66.1 million. Supply Division procures various items of educational equipment and materials that can be ordered as separate items or assembled in a kit (such as the School-in-a-Box). Specific sets, based on the local requirements of a Country Office or external customer (through Procurement Services), can also be assembled. The School-in-a-Box and the Recreation Kit are now part of the UNICEF standard response in emergencies.

In 2015, UNICEF supplied 51.647 classroom kits, 55.293 country-specific educational kits and 38.400 recreation kits. We also shipped 16.964 Early Childhood Development Kits, for children up to the age of six years.

The supply component of UNICEF education programmes is often most visible in emergency situations, largely because of the success of the School-in-a-Box, which has been used by UNICEF since the mid-1990s.

UNICEF is interested in working with a broad range of suppliers in order to procure quality commodities at competitive prices. For more information on how to become a supplier with UNICEF and conditions for suppliers, click here

Education and MDGs

UNICEF is working with various local, national and international partners to implement the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) on education (MDG 2) and gender equality (MDG 3). 
Among other things, UNICEF education programmes support education opportunities for children by taking their specific needs into account and making sure that education kits are gender sensitive. Recreation kits include child friendly items such as sponge balls, skipping ropes and frisbees. Based on gaps in existing kits, requests from Country Offices and developments in the market, products are regularly reviewed to determine their relevance. 
UNICEF Supply Division regularly reviews progress towards the MDGs.



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Innovating school furniture

Good school furniture facilitates learning. But in developing countries it tends to be poorly designed - often using poor materials. A UNICEF Innovation project seeks to define a management process, generic designs, specifications and guidelines on how to manage the procurement process.

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