United Nations Children's Education Fund (UNICEF), formerly known as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund. It was established with the aim of providing long-term humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries.
It was established in 1946 with the objective of providing relief to children in countries that was devastated by World War II. It is the main United Nations specialized organisation which defends, promotes and protects the children’s rights.
It was created with a distinct purpose in mind: to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child’s path. It also advocates 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.
Priorities of UNICEF
• Young child survival and development: The chance to survive is a right owed to every child. UNICEF and its partners are leading global efforts to end preventable child deaths, working with governments, national and international agencies, and civil society to support effective and life-saving actions at each phase in a child’s life-from prenatal care in a mother’s pregnancy to effective and affordable health care through childhood and into adulthood.
• Basic Education and Gender Equality: UNICEF helps governments, communities and parents gain the capacities and skills they need to fulfil their obligations for children. These obligations include ensuring the right of all children to free, compulsory quality education, even during a humanitarian crisis, in the recovery period after a crisis, or in fragile or unstable situations. It also focus on gender equality and work towards eliminating disparities of all kinds.
• Unite for children, unite against AIDS: UNICEF works to ensure that all babies, children, adolescents and their mothers, are able to access life-saving HIV prevention, treatment, care and support. UNICEF engages country-level partners around the world to make HIV prevention, testing, and treatment as widely available as possible, including in remote areas, fragile states and to those children in marginalized populations. It promotes rapid integration and expansion of HIV education and care into maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services.
• Humanitarian Action for Children: Children are at the epicentre of today’s global emergencies. Nearly 250 million children live in countries affected by conflict and millions more face risks from natural hazards and fast spreading epidemics. Before, during and after an emergency, UNICEF is on the ground delivering life-saving assistance to children and their families. UNICEF’s Humanitarian Action for Children highlights the situation of children living in the most challenging circumstances, outlines the support required to help them survive and thrive, and shows the results UNICEF and its partners have achieved and are working towards.