United Nations Children's Fund

Cover image for UNICEF

The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was established by the General Assembly (GA res. 57 (I) (1946) to provide emergency assistance to children in war-ravaged countries following World War II. By GA res. 417 (V) (1950), the UN General Assembly charged it with addressing the needs of children in developing countries. GA res. 802 (VIII) (1953) extended UNICEF'S mandate indefinitely, with an emphasis on programmes giving long-term benefits to children everywhere, particularly those in developing countries, and changed the organization's name to the United Nations Children's Fund but retained the UNICEF acronym. The Fund also continued to provide relief and rehabilitation assistance in emergencies.

The priority areas for UNICEFs work are set out in UNICEF's medium-term strategic plan for 2006 to 2013. They are:

  • Young child survival and development
  • Basic education and gender equality
  • HIV/AIDS and children
  • Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse
  • Policy advocacy and partnerships for children's rights.

Through its extensive field network, UNICEF undertakes programmes in health, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, the environment, child protection, gender issues and development, and other fields of importance to children in coordination with governments, local communities and other aid organisations in developing countries and territories.  UNICEF places emphasis on low-cost, community-based programmes, focusing on supporting children during critical periods of their life, when intervention can make a lasting difference.  Thirty-six National Committees for UNICEF, mostly in industrialised countries, support its work in raising funds and advocacy.

Links & attachments

  • Official Website
  • Please note some attachments are only available to UNGIS members.