• The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is a special programme of the UN that helps countries improve children’s health, nutrition, schooling, and general well-being.
• In 1946, the UN Relief and Rehabilitation Administration set up the International Children’s Emergency Fund (ICEF) to help children who had been hurt by World War II.
• In 1953, the UNICEF became a fixed part of the UN.
The full name is United Nations Children’s Fund, but people still call it UNICEF.
• The United Nations General Assembly gave it the job of fighting for children’s rights, helping to meet their basic needs, and giving them more chances to reach their full potential.
• The Convention on the Rights of the Child, signed in 1989, tells UNICEF what to do.
It tries to make sure that children’s rights are always respected and that there are worldwide rules about how to treat children.
• In 1965, he was given the Nobel Peace Prize for “promoting brotherhood among the nations.”
• The main office is in New York City.
It has 7 regional offices and works in more than 190 countries and regions.
Table of Contents
Organisational Structure of UNICEF:
• UNICEF is run by an Executive Board made up of 36 people who are chosen for three-year terms by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
• There are UNICEF Regional Offices in the following countries.
The office for the Americas and Caribbean is in Panama City, Panama.
The regional office for Europe and Central Asia is in Geneva, Switzerland.
The office for East Asia and the Pacific is in Bangkok, Thailand.
Office for Eastern and Southern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya
The office for the Middle East and North Africa is in Amman, Jordan.
Regional Office for South Asia is in Kathmandu, Nepal. Regional Office for West and Central Africa is in Dakar, Senegal.
Each region that UNICEF works in has a certain number of seats on the Executive Board, so that all areas are represented. There are also 33 national committees around the world that help promote children’s rights and raise money.
What kind of work does UNICEF do?
• After 1950, UNICEF focused on general programmes to improve the well-being of children, especially in less-developed countries and in times of disaster.
It finally grew to include the struggles of women in the developing world, especially mothers. For example, in 1980, it began a programme called “Women in Development.”
In 1982, UNICEF started a new health programme for children that focused on growth tracking, oral rehydration therapy, breastfeeding promotion, and immunisation.
• UNICEF’s work includes: Child development and nutrition, child protection, education, child environment, eradication of polio, reproductive and child health, children with AIDS, social policy, planning, monitoring, and evaluation, advocacy and partnerships, behaviour change communication, emergency preparedness and response.
• UNICEF brings together people and money to help countries, especially poor countries.
• UNICEF is committed to making sure that the most vulnerable children, like those who have been hurt by war, natural disasters, extreme poverty, all kinds of violence and exploitation, and children with disabilities, are given special care. • UNICEF works with all of its partners to reach the world’s goals for human development.
• The realisation of the Charter of the United Nations’ ideal of peace and social progress.
How the Funding is done?
• The national committees are a unique part of UNICEF and an important part of its world organisation.
The National Committees are the public face and voice of UNICEF. They work hard to raise money from the private sector, promote children’s rights, and make sure that children threatened by poverty, disasters, armed conflict, abuse, and exploitation are seen and heard around the world. UNICEF is only funded by voluntary contributions, and the National Committees raise about one-third of UNICEF’s annual income.
This is made possible by contributions from corporations, civil society organisations, and more than 6 million individual donors around the world. It also brings together many different partners, such as the media, national and local government officials, NGOs, experts like doctors and lawyers, corporations, schools, young people, and the general public, to work on issues related to children’s rights.
India and UNICEF
• In 1949, UNICEF sent three people to work in India. Three years later, in 1952, it opened an office in Delhi.
At the moment, it fights for the rights of children in 16 states in India.
• The Ministry of Women and Child Development is the main ministry.
• UNICEF has done a number of things in India, such as helping with the 2011 Census, where gender problems were included in the training and communication plan.
o This was part of UNICEF’s input to the joint support of the Census by the United Nations. It helped 2.7 million enumerators and supervisors collect good, separate data.
Polio Campaign, 2012: Polio cases in India fell from 559 in 2008 to zero cases in 2012.
o The Government, along with UNICEF, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, helped almost everyone know that all children under five need to be vaccinated against polio.
Because of these measures, India was taken off the list of countries where the disease is common in 2014.
Reduction in MMR, 2013: With UNICEF’s help, the National Health Mission (NHM) and the second part of the Reproductive and Child Health programme gave more women, babies, and children access to health services in hospitals and in their own communities.
o This helped bring the Maternal Mortality Rate (MMR) down to 130 from 2014 to 2016 and the Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) down to 34 from 2014 to 2016. (Data Source: NITI Aayog)
• The MMR is the number of deaths of mothers per 100,000 live births.
• The infant mortality rate (IMR) is the number of deaths for every 1,000 live births of children under 1 year old.
Call to Action, 2013: This project was started to lower the death rate among children under the age of five.
o It has pulled together state governments, development partners like UNICEF, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), the business sector, and other key stakeholders under one umbrella to make sure that everyone is working together to make progress faster on child survival.
Maternal and Child Nutrition, 2013: The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) successfully began a national communication campaign on Maternal and Child Nutrition, with a UNICEF Ambassador promoting good nutrition for children.
o This was one of the biggest public service efforts in India. People from all over the country heard about it through different channels and in 18 languages.
India Newborn Action Plan, 2014: This is the first plan of its kind in the region. It builds on the current commitments for newborns under Call to Action, the RMNCH+A (Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, Child, and Adolescent Health).
What is the Strategic Plan (2022–2025)?
• UNICEF’s Strategic Plan for 2022–2025 shows how committed it is to promoting children’s rights everywhere.
It comes at a very important time when children’s human rights are being threatened in a way that hasn’t been seen in over a decade. It is the first of two plans that will lead up to 2030, and it is UNICEF’s contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that focus on children in all settings. In this way, it gives country programmes and National Committees a world framework.
• The Strategic Plan will guide coordinated action towards an inclusive recovery from COVID-19, a faster path to achieving the SDGs, and a society where every child is included without discrimination and has the freedom, opportunities, and rights that they are entitled to.
The Plan took into account what children, communities, governments, UN agencies, the business sector, civil society, and other partners had to say.
It explains the main programmatic goals and a set of linked result areas, change strategies, and enablers, such as new or faster ways to deal with things like climate change, mental health, and social protection.