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UNICEF’s story in 2012: unrelenting efforts for world’s most vulnerable children

Despite financial concerns in much of the world and complex emergencies affecting children in nearly 80 countries in 2012, global progress was still made for millions of children last year, according to UNICEFs Annual Report 2012.

“As the Millennium Development Goals deadline approaches, we have cause to celebrate declining poverty rates, the near eradication of polio, increased immunizations, more girls attending school, improved access to clean water and nutrition, and more children surviving and thriving beyond their fifth birthdays than ever before,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But these results are no excuse for rest.”

Emergencies dominated headlines in 2012 and the report notes that the organization and its partners responded to 286 humanitarian situations in 79 countries. Life-saving support provided through UNICEF included:

Therapeutic feeding programmes for more than 2.1 million severely malnourished children  under the age of five
Measles vaccination for nearly 44 million children up to the age of 15
Access to safe water for 18.8 million people
More than 3.5 million children being able to access education

In April 2012, UNICEF launched a global social media campaign, SahelNOW, that drove awareness and coverage to the impending nutrition crisis in the region.

The horrific conflict in Syria demanded a special effort; UNICEF helped provide access to uninterrupted education for nearly 80,000 children affected by the conflict, supported measles vaccination for more than 1.4 million children and provided psychosocial care for an estimated 47,000 children. UNICEF also delivered safe water in refugee camps and to host communities, benefitting more than 100,000 people, and winter supplies to more than 260,000 people in Syria.

Beyond such crises, UNICEF continued its work to place children at the top of the global agenda.

Capitalizing on innovation to reach the most disadvantaged was also central to UNICEF’s work in 2012. For example, in many countries, low birth registration rates leave children unable to attend school and vulnerable to trafficking, among other dangers.  In Nigeria and Uganda, UNICEF devised a system for registering births using SMS.

Similarly, to quickly diagnose and treat HIV-infected infants in Zambia, UNICEF supported a RapidSMS programme. From the 2010 pilot to 2012, the programme transmitted over 10,000 HIV test results from laboratories in two main cities to more than 260 mostly rural health facilities, slashing turnaround time from 44 days to 26.

The organization remains both a world leader in the procurement of supplies for children and the world’s largest provider of vaccines to developing countries. In 2012, UNICEF’s procurement strategies and innovative financing mechanisms generated savings of more than US$197 million.

And despite a competitive funding environment amid financial concerns in much of the world, cash contributions to UNICEF rose by eight per cent over the previous year, underscoring donor trust in UNICEF’s ability to leverage its expertise, technical know-how, broad partnerships and global reach to save and enhance the lives of children.

In 2012, UNICEF joined the International Aid Transparency Initiative in order to provide more complete information to the public on its activities, how they are funded, and how much is spent. In another move to increase transparency and accountability, UNICEF expanded public disclosure through releasing online internal audit reports, evaluations and country office annual reports.

Full text UNICEFs Annual Report 2012

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About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world leader in protection of children’s rights and interests. The Fund works in more than 190 countries for protection and support of children from early childhood through adolescence. Programs of UNICEF are entirely financed by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. Office of the Fund was opened in Ukraine in 1997. For more information visit Join us on Twitter, Facebook and ВКонтакте
For more information, please contact:
Peter Smerdon, UNICEF New York, Tel + 1 212 303 7984, Mobile: + 1 917 213 5188,
Rita Ann Wallace, UNICEF New York, Tel: + 1 212-326-7586; Mobile: + 1 917-213-4034;



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