UNICEF was created by the United Nations General Assembly on December 11, 1946, to provide emergency food and healthcare to children in countries that had been devastated by World War II.
UNICEF relies on contributions from governments and private donors. Governments contribute two thirds of the organization's resources; private groups and some 6 million individuals contribute the rest through the National Committees. 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 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006.
Most of UNICEF's work is in the field, with staff in over 190 countries and territories. More than 200 country offices carry out UNICEF's mission through a program developed with host governments. Seventeen regional offices provide technical assistance to country offices as needed.
UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. They have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.
They believe that nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path.
They advocate for measures to give children the best start in life, because proper care at the youngest age forms the strongest foundation for a person’s future.
They promote girls’ education – ensuring that they complete primary education as a minimum – because it benefits all children, both girls and boys. Girls who are educated grow up to become better thinkers, better citizens, and better parents to their own children.
They act so that all children are immunized against common childhood diseases, and are well nourished, because it is wrong for a child to suffer or die from a preventable illness.
They work to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people because it is right to keep them from harm and enable them to protect others. They help children and families affected by HIV/AIDS to live their lives with dignity.
They involve everyone in creating protective environments for children. They are present to relieve suffering during emergencies, and wherever children are threatened, because no child should be exposed to violence, abuse or exploitation.
UNICEF upholds the Convention on the Rights of the Child. They work to assure equality for those who are discriminated against, girls and women in particular. They work for the Millennium Development Goals and for the progress promised in the United Nations Charter. They strive for peace and security. They work to hold everyone accountable to the promises made for children.
They are part of the Global Movement for Children – a broad coalition dedicated to improving the life of every child. Through this movement, and events such as the United Nations Special Session on Children, They encourage young people to speak out and participate in the decisions that affect their lives.
They are active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programmes and National Committees.