UNICEF

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UNICEF
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
UNICEF Logo.svg
AbbreviationUNICEF
Formation11 December 1946;72 years ago (1946-12-11) (as United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund)
TypeFund
Legal statusActive
Headquarters New York City, New York, U.S.
Head
Executive Director of the United Nations Children’s Fund
Henrietta H. Fore
Parent organization
United Nations General Assembly
United Nations Economic and Social Council
Website www.unicef.org
UN emblem blue.svg United Nationsportal

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), originally known as the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, was created by the United Nations General Assembly on 11 December 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children and mothers in countries that had been devastated by World War II. The Polish physician Ludwik Rajchman is widely regarded as the founder of UNICEF and observed as its first chairman from 1946 to 1950, when he had to flee the United States in the wake of McCarthyism. Rajchman is to this day the only person that served as UNICEF's Chairman for longer than 2 years. On Rajchman's suggestion, the American Maurice Pate was appointed first executive director, serving from 1947 until his death in 1965. [1] [2] In 1950, UNICEF's mandate was extended to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. In 1953 it became a permanent part of the United Nations System, and the words "international" and "emergency" were dropped from the organization's name, though it retained the original acronym, "UNICEF". [3]

United Nations General Assembly Principal organ of the United Nations

The United Nations General Assembly is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), the only one in which all member nations have equal representation, and the main deliberative, policy-making, and representative organ of the UN. Its powers are to oversee the budget of the UN, appoint the non-permanent members to the Security Council, appoint the Secretary-General of the United Nations, receive reports from other parts of the UN, and make recommendations in the form of General Assembly Resolutions. It has also established numerous subsidiary organs.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. The major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 70 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Ludwik Rajchman Polish microbiologist, co-founder of UNICEF

Ludwik Witold Rajchman was a Polish physician and bacteriologist. He is regarded as the founder of UNICEF, and served as its first Chairman from 1946 to 1950.

Contents

Funds

UNICEF relies on contributions from governments and private donors. UNICEF's total income for 2015 was US$5,009,557,471. Governments contribute two-thirds of the organization's resources. Private groups and individuals contribute the rest through national committees. It is estimated that 92 percent of UNICEF revenue is distributed to program services. [4] UNICEF's programs emphasize developing community-level services to promote the health and well-being of children. UNICEF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965, the Indira Gandhi Peace Prize in 1989 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006.

Nobel Peace Prize One of five Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel

The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel, along with the prizes in Chemistry, Physics, Physiology or Medicine, and Literature. Since March 1901, it has been awarded annually to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

OFFICES

Most of UNICEF's work is in the field, with a presence in 192 countries and territories. UNICEF's network of over 150 country offices, headquarters and other offices, and 34 National Committees carry out UNICEF's mission through programs developed with host governments. Seven regional offices provide technical assistance to country offices as needed.

UNICEF's Supply Division is based in Copenhagen and serves as the primary point of distribution for such essential items as vaccines, antiretroviral medicines for children and mothers with HIV, nutritional supplements, emergency shelters, family reunification, and educational supplies. [5] A 36-member executive board establishes policies, approves programs and oversees administrative and financial plans. The executive board is made up of government representatives who are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, usually for three-year terms.

Copenhagen Capital of Denmark

Copenhagen is the capital and most populous city of Denmark. As of July 2018, the city has a population of 777,218. It forms the core of the wider urban area of Copenhagen and the Copenhagen metropolitan area. Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of the island of Zealand; another small portion of the city is located on Amager, and it is separated from Malmö, Sweden, by the strait of Øresund. The Øresund Bridge connects the two cities by rail and road.

HIV Human retrovirus, cause of AIDS

The human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) are two species of Lentivirus that causes HIV infection and over time acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). AIDS is a condition in humans in which progressive failure of the immune system allows life-threatening opportunistic infections and cancers to thrive. Without treatment, average survival time after infection with HIV is estimated to be 9 to 11 years, depending on the HIV subtype. In most cases, HIV is a sexually transmitted infection and occurs by contact with or transfer of blood, pre-ejaculate, semen, and vaginal fluids. Research has shown that HIV is untransmissable through condomless sexual intercourse if the HIV-positive partner has a consistently undetectable viral load. Non-sexual transmission can occur from an infected mother to her infant during pregnancy, during childbirth by exposure to her blood or vaginal fluid, and through breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is present as both free virus particles and virus within infected immune cells.

Emergency shelter place for people to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence

An emergency shelter is a place for people to live temporarily when they cannot live in their previous residence, similar to homeless shelters. The main difference is that an emergency shelter typically specializes in people fleeing a specific type of situation, such as natural or man-made disasters, domestic violence, or victims of sexual abuse. A more minor difference is that people staying in emergency shelters are more likely to stay all day, except for work, school, or errands, while homeless shelters usually expect people to stay elsewhere during the day, returning only to sleep or eat. Emergency shelters sometimes facilitate support groups, and/or provide meals.

Governance

UNICEF-care tent in Sudan Sudan Envoy - UNICEF Tent.jpg
UNICEF-care tent in Sudan

Each country office carries out UNICEF's mission through a unique program of cooperation developed with the host government. This five-year program focuses on practical ways to realize the rights of children and women. Regional offices guide this work and provide technical assistance to country offices as needed. Overall management and administration of the organization takes place at the headquarters, where global policy on children is shaped. Guiding and monitoring all of UNICEF's work is an Executive Board made up of 36 members who are government representatives. They establish policies, approve programs and decide on administrative and financial plans and budgets. Executive Board's work is coordinated by the Bureau, comprising the President and four Vice-Presidents, each officer representing one of the five regional groups. These five officers, each one representing one of the five regional groups, are elected by the Executive Board each year from among its members, with the presidency rotating among the regional groups on an annual basis. As a matter of custom, permanent members of the Security Council do not serve as officers of the Executive Board. Office of the Secretary of the Executive Board supports and services the Executive Board. It is responsible for maintaining an effective relationship between the Executive Board and the UNICEF secretariat, and helps to organize the field visits of the Executive Board. [6] [7] [8]

UNICEF School in a box contains basic educational items for one teacher and 40 students 1 school in a box.jpg
UNICEF School in a box contains basic educational items for one teacher and 40 students

UNICEF Regional Offices:

The following countries are home to UNICEF Regional Offices.

1)The Americas and Caribbean Regional Office, Panama City, Panama 2)Europe and Central Asia Regional Office, Geneva, Switzerland 3)East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, Bangkok, Thailand 4)Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya 5)Middle East and North Africa Regional Office, Amman, Jordan 6)South Asia Regional Office, Kathmandu, Nepal 7)West and Central Africa Regional Office, Dakar, Senegal

UNICEF national committees

There are national committees in 36 [industrialized] countries, each established as an independent local non-governmental organization. The national committees raise funds from the public sector.

Non-governmental organization organization that is neither a part of a government nor a conventional for-profit business

Non-governmental organizations—also called nongovernmental or nongovernment organizations—commonly referred to as NGOs, are usually non-profit and sometimes international organizations independent of governments and international governmental organizations that are active in humanitarian, educational, health care, public policy, social, human rights, environmental, and other areas to effect changes according to their objectives. They are thus a subgroup of all organizations founded by citizens, which include clubs and other associations that provide services, benefits, and premises only to members. Sometimes the term is used as a synonym of "civil society organization" to refer to any association founded by citizens, but this is not how the term is normally used in the media or everyday language, as recorded by major dictionaries. The explanation of the term by NGO.org is ambivalent. It first says an NGO is any non-profit, voluntary citizens' group which is organized on a local, national or international level, but then goes on to restrict the meaning in the sense used by most English speakers and the media: Task-oriented and driven by people with a common interest, NGOs perform a variety of service and humanitarian functions, bring citizen concerns to Governments, advocate and monitor policies and encourage political participation through provision of information.

UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions, [9] and the National Committees collectively raise around one-third of UNICEF's annual income. This comes through contributions from corporations, civil society organizations around six million individual donors worldwide.

Promotion and fundraising

In the United States, Nepal and some other countries, UNICEF is known for its "Trick-Or-Treat for UNICEF" program in which children collect money for UNICEF from the houses they trick-or-treat on Halloween night, sometimes instead of candy.

UNICEF is present in 191 countries and territories around the world, but not involved in nine others (Bahamas, Brunei, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Singapore, and Taiwan). [10]

Many people in developed countries first hear about UNICEF's work through the activities of one of the 36 National Committees for UNICEF. These non-governmental organizations (NGO) are primarily responsible for fundraising, selling UNICEF greeting cards and products, creating private and public partnerships, advocating for children's rights, and providing other support. The US Fund for UNICEF is the oldest of the national committees, founded in 1947. [11]

On 19 April 2007, Grand Duchess Maria Teresa of Luxembourg was appointed UNICEF Eminent Advocate for Children, [12] in which role she has visited Brazil (2007), [13] China (2008), [14] and Burundi (2009). [15]

In 2009, the British retailer Tesco used "Change for Good" as advertising, which is trademarked by UNICEF for charity usage but not for commercial or retail use. This prompted the agency to say, "it is the first time in Unicef's history that a commercial entity has purposely set out to capitalise on one of our campaigns and subsequently damage an income stream which several of our programs for children are dependent on". They went on to call on the public "who have children’s welfare at heart, to consider carefully who they support when making consumer choices". [16] [17]

In 2013 William Armstrong was the first British male to take on the 1,600-kilometre (990 mi) JOGLE solo unaided challenge raising funds and creating a media frenzy at the time.[ citation needed ] Many ambassadors including Hollywood actor Ewan McGregor were big fans of his quest to promote UNICEF.[ citation needed ]

Sponsorship

Lionel Messi wearing a Barcelona shirt with the UNICEF logo in 2007 Lionel Messi 31mar2007.jpg
Lionel Messi wearing a Barcelona shirt with the UNICEF logo in 2007

On 7 September 2006, an agreement between UNICEF and the Spanish Catalan association football club FC Barcelona was reached whereby the club would donate €1.5 million per year to the organization for five years. As part of the agreement, FC Barcelona would wear the UNICEF logo on the front of their uniforms in the colour yellow (as seen in the picture on the right of Lionel Messi). [18] This was the first time a football club sponsored an organization rather than the other way around. It was also the first time in FC Barcelona's history that they have had another organization's name across the front of their uniform. In 2016, the team signed a new four-year sponsorship deal with UNICEF guaranteeing the organization £1.58 million per year and free advertising. [19]

In January 2007 UNICEF struck a partnership with Canada's national tent pegging team. The team was officially re-flagged as "UNICEF Team Canada", and its riders wear UNICEF's logo in competition, and team members promote and raise funds for UNICEF's campaign against childhood HIV-AIDS. [20] When the team became the 2008 tent pegging world champions, UNICEF's flag was raised alongside the Canadian flag at the games, the first time in the history of international Grand Prix equestrian competition that a non-state flag has flown over the medal podium. [21]

The Swedish club Hammarby IF followed the Spanish and Canadian lead on 14 April 2007, [22] also raising funds for UNICEF and displaying the UNICEF name on their sportswear. The Danish football club Brøndby IF participated in a similar arrangement from 2008 to 2013. [23]

In 2007, Race driver Jacques Villeneuve has occasionally placed the UNICEF logo on the #27 Bill Davis Racing pickup truck in the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series. [24]

Australian A-League club Sydney FC announced they would also enter into a partnership with UNICEF raising funds for children in the Asia-Pacific region, and would also display the UNICEF logo for the remainder of the 2011-12 A-League season. [25]

In Botswana, UNICEF has funded the development of new state-of-the-art HIV/AIDS education for every schoolchild in Botswana from nonprofit organization TeachAIDS. [26]

UNICEF announced a landmark partnership with Scottish club Rangers F.C. UNICEF partnered with the Rangers Charity Foundation and pledged to raise £300,000 by 2011. [27]

In 2010, UNICEF created a partnership with Phi Iota Alpha, making them the first Greek Lettered Organization UNICEF has ever worked with. In 2011, Phi Iota Alpha raised over $20,000 for the Tap Project and the Trick or Treats for UNICEF Campaign.

In 2013, they agreed a contract with Greek association football champions Olympiacos F.C. who will show the organization's logo on the front of their shirts.

UNICEF Kid Power

Started in 2015, Kid Power is a division of UNICEF that was created as an effort to involve kids in helping other kids in need. UNICEF Kid Power developed the world's first Wearable for Good, [28] called Kid Power Bands, [29] which is a kids’ fitness tracker bracelet that connects to a smartphone app. The app lets users complete missions, which counts total steps and awards points. The points then unlock funding from partners, which is then used by UNICEF to deliver lifesaving packets of therapeutic food to severely malnourished children around the world.

Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box

Since 1950, when a group of children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, donated $17 which they received on Halloween to help post-World War II victims, the Trick-or-Treat UNICEF box has become a tradition in North America during the fall. [30] These small orange boxes are handed to children at schools and other locations before 31 October. As of 2012, the Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF campaign has collected approximately C$91 million in Canada and over US$167 million in the U.S. [31]

Cartoons for Children's Rights

In 1994, UNICEF held a summit encouraging animation studios around the world to create individual animated spots demonstrating the international rights of children. Cartoons for Children's Rights is the collection of animated shorts based on UNICEF's Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Corporate partnership

To raise money to support its Education and Literacy Programs, UNICEF collaborates with companies worldwide – international as well as small- and medium-sized businesses.

Since 2004, the organization has been supported by Montblanc, working collaboratively to help the world's children getting better access to education. [32]

According to Vaccine News Daily, Merck & Co. partnered with UNICEF in June 2013 to decrease maternal mortality, HIV and tuberculosis prevalence in South Africa. Merck's program "Merck for Mothers" will give US$500 million worldwide for programs that improve health for expectant mothers and their children. [33]

In May 2010, Crucell N.V. announced an additional US$110 million award from UNICEF to supply its pentavalent pediatric vaccine Quinvaxem to the developing world. [34]

Corporate Social Responsibility

UNICEF works directly with companies to improve their business practices, bringing them in line with obligations under international law, and ensuring that they respect children's rights in the realms of the marketplace, workplace, and the community. In 2012, UNICEF worked with Save the Children and The United Nations Global Compact to develop the Children's Rights and Business Principles and now these guidelines form the basis UNICEF's advice to companies. UNICEF works with companies seeking to improve their social sustainability by guiding them through a due diligence process where issues throughout their supply chain, such as child labor, can be identified and actions to ratify them are put in place. [35]

Girl Star

The Girl Star [36] project is a series of films which documents stories of girls from the most disadvantaged communities across five northern states in India who, through via education, have managed to break socio-economic constraints to make a success of their lives and become self-sufficient. These young women have grown to become role models in their communities, inspiring younger girls to go to school and continue their education. They have selected professions from the most conventional such as teaching and nursing, to the most unconventional like archery, bee-keeping, scrap management[ clarification needed ], often entering what has traditionally been a man's domain. Girl Star is also one of UNICEF's most known projects.[ citation needed ]

Kids United

Kids United is a French musical group of four children (six children when the group was formed) born between 2000 and 2007. It has been created to support UNICEF campaigns and is sponsored by Hélène Ségara and Corneille, two Francophone singers. The first album Un monde meilleur (A better world) was launched on Universal Children's Day in 2015, it received gold certification in France. The second album Tout le bonheur du monde was even certified 2x platinum.

U-report

U-Report is a free SMS social monitoring tool and real-time information system for community participation, designed to strengthen community-led development, citizen engagement, and positive change. SMS polls and alerts are sent out to U-reporters and real-time response information is collected. Results and ideas are shared back with the community. Issues polled include among others health, education, water, sanitation and hygiene, youth unemployment, HIV/ AIDS, disease outbreaks; social welfare sectors. The initiative is currently operational in 41 countries and covers more than 3 million people.

Rugby League World Cup 2021

On the 19th June 2019 the 2021 Rugby League World Cup ( Flag of England.svg England) announced that Unicef would become the official tournament charity [37] [38] . The announcement was made at Mansion House, London [39] as part of a launch event for the Rugby League World Cup legacy program called 'Inspired by RLWC2021'. The partnership aims to use the power of sport to raise awareness and funds for Unicef’s work protecting children in danger around the world.

In addition to the general promotion of the charity at matches and events, the 2021 Rugby League World Cup Chief Executive has also stated that there will be an officially designated 'Unicef' game at some point during the mens world cup.

Celebrity ambassadors

UNICEF Ambassadors are leaders in the entertainment industry, representing the fields of film, television, music, sports and beyond. They help raise awareness of the needs of children, and use their talent and fame to fund-raise, advocate, and educate on behalf of UNICEF. [40]

Facilities

One of the gates to the old UNICEF World Warehouse UNICEF world warehouse gate.jpg
One of the gates to the old UNICEF World Warehouse
The UNICEF research centre in Florence UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre.jpg
The UNICEF research centre in Florence

UNICEF World Warehouse

The old UNICEF World Warehouse is a large facility in Denmark, which hosts UNICEF deliverable goods as well as co-hosts emergency goods for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). Until 2012 the facilities was a 25,000m2 warehouse at Marmormolen in Copenhagen. With construction of a 45,000m2 UN City that is to house all UN activities in Copenhagen under one roof, [41] the warehouse service has been relocated to outer parts of the Freeport of Copenhagen. The facility houses the UNICEF Supply Division which manages strategic transport hubs in Dubai, Kualalumpur, Panama and Shanghai. [42] The warehouse contains a variety of items, e.g., food supplements, water purification tablets, dietary and vitamin supplements, and the "School in a box" (illustrated above).

UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre

The UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence, Italy, was established in 1988. The centre, formally known as the International Child Development Centres, has as its prime objectives to improve international understanding of issues relating to children's rights, to promote economic policies that advance the cause of children, and to help facilitate the full implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in industrialized and developing countries.

The program for 2006–2008 was approved by UNICEF Executive Board in September 2005.

It reaffirms the centre's academic freedom and the focus of IRC's research on knowledge gaps, emerging questions and sensitive issues which are relevant to the realization of children's rights, in developing and industrialized countries. It capitalizes on IRC's role as an interface between UNICEF field experience, international experts, research networks and policy makers and is designed to strengthen the centre's institutional collaboration with regional academic and policy institutions, pursuing the following goals:

Three interrelated strategies guide the achievement of these goals:

Controversies

Adoption program

UNICEF has a policy preferring orphanages only be used as temporary accommodation for children when there is no alternative. UNICEF has historically opposed the creation of large-scale, permanent orphanages for children, preferring instead to find children places in their (extended) families and communities, wherever possible. This has led UNICEF to be skeptical of international adoption efforts as a solution to child care problems in developing countries; UNICEF has preferred to see children cared for in their birth countries rather than be adopted by foreign parents. [44] [45]

A 2015 article in U.S. News & World Report magazine asserted UNICEF's intervention that on giving large cash payments to developing countries can lead to a cessation of international adoptions until all of its recommendations are in place, and have even labeled UNICEF a "villain" for the extent of its negative impact on orphans. [46] Elizabeth Bartholet and Paulo Barrozo have written in this context, encouraging adoption protocols to take on a more child-centric viewpoint.[ citation needed ]

Infant mortality

One concern is that the child mortality rate has not decreased in some areas as rapidly as had been planned, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, where in 2013 "the region still has the highest child mortality rate: 92 deaths per 1000 live births". [47] and that "Globally, nearly half of under-five deaths are attributable to undernutrition."

In 2005, Richard Horton editor-in-chief of The Lancet , editorialized that "over 60% of these deaths were and remain preventable" and that the coverage levels for these interventions are "appallingly low in the 42 countries that account for 90% of child deaths". [48]

NSA surveillance

Documents released by Edward Snowden in December 2013 showed that "UNICEF" was among the surveillance targets of British and American intelligence agencies. [49]

See also

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Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate
1965
Succeeded by
René Cassin
1968