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The Truth About UNICEF

This article explains the integrity of UNICEF and how it is working with global governments to provide food, shelter and medicine to the millions of needy women and children who will otherwise die without their help.

There are many hurting children around the world who are dying from disease and starvation, and there are many opportunities to give financial help. Often, people want to give but they are reluctant because of bad reports that circulate. UNICEF has had its share of bad reports and now it’s time to clear the air.

UNICEF stands for United Nations International Children’s Fund.

This is a non-profit global organization that was initiated by the UN and has become the heartfelt mission of thousands of people. Its mandate is to make immunizations available to children across the globe and bring a stop to the millions of death each year caused from diseases that could be prevented through vaccines.  

The History of UNICEF

UNICEF was created by the United Nations at the end of WW2 on December 11, 1946 to provide emergency food and shelter to women and children in Europe. In 1953 it became a permanent part of the UN, and in 1954 actor, Danny Kaye, was promoted as their Ambassador at Large. In 1959 UNICEF adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Children in its efforts to provide protection, health care, education and proper food to children. It received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965 for promoting brotherhood among the nations, and it led the celebrations when 1979 was declared International Year of the Child. In 1981 it established the Breastfeeding Code, and the, ‘Say Yes to Children’ campaign in 2001.

More Than a Relief Fund

Although UNICEF was initiated as an emergency relief fund, by 1970 it had become an advocate for the welfare, health and protection of women and children around the world.  It is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child, and is part of the Global Movement for Children as it encourages children of every age to speak out against child abuse and violence.  As a member of the Millennium Development Goals, it strives to achieve the peace and security that is promised to every child in the United Nations Charter.

“We 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.”

Facts for Life

In 1989 UNICEF published its first handbook, Facts for Life, which was a group project written by doctors, health care workers and social workers. There are currently four editions published and each one is directed to parents, family members and caregivers to teach and encourage them to change poor behaviors and practices so children can live healthy lives. The latest edition has included chapters on Newborn Health and Safe Motherhood to help teach mothers globally on the need for proper health care. These editions have been translated into 215 languages with over 15 million copies distributed worldwide. 

Vaccines for Children

According to UNICEF’S Facts of Life book, nine million children died in 2008 in underdeveloped countries before they reached their fifth birthday, and all from diseases that could have been prevented. These diseases include pneumonia, malaria, measles, AIDS and diarrhea, and one third of the deaths are blamed on under nutrition. UNICEF has been working with the Worldwide Health Organization (WHO) since 1980, and in 2008 there were 106 million children immunized. It now supplies 40 per cent of the world’s vaccines to children, including HepB vaccines to infants in 157 countries.

Working with UNICEF

UNICEF works with governments, organizations and people all around the world to make immunization services available for children. It also works with ministries of health and community programs to make information available on the safety and effectiveness of getting children immunized.   UNICEF raises funds through government grants, personal and commercial donations, fund raisers and collections such as door-to-door Trick or Treats on Halloween.

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