Fighting Coronavirus (COVID-19) | UNICEF USA


Even before the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global health emergency, UNICEF had rushed six metric tons of medical supplies to the front lines. To date, UNICEF has delivered tens of millions of protective items for health workers, medical equipment and hygiene supplies. Key to UNICEF's effectiveness is its humanitarian warehouse in Copenhagen, the world's largest, which can ship emergency supplies anywhere in the world in 48 to 72 hours.

When a COVID-19 vaccine is ready, UNICEF will lead global efforts to procure and supply vaccine doses for 92 lower- and middle-income countries, and serve as procurement coordinator for 80 higher income countries. 

UNICEF is also leading on preventative actions in communities to protect the health of children and their parents and caregivers. When schools closed in 186 countries, interrupting the education of 1.29 billion students, UNICEF focused on finding ways to help children keep learning through online classes and radio broadcasts. UNICEF is supporting ministries of education and working closely with education partners to provide high-quality remote learning and prioritize the safe reopening of schools. 

UNICEF's results so far:

  • More than 73.2 million people reached with soap, water and critical hygiene supplies
  • Personal protective equipment delivered to health workers, including 64.8 million gloves, 10.4 million N95 masks, 14,324 oxygen concentrators and 2 million diagnostic tests for COVID-19 
  • Nearly 4 million children treated for severe acute malnutrition
  • 2.5 million health workers trained in infection prevention and control
  • More than 229 million children supported with distance/home-based learning
  • Almost 66 million children, parents and caregivers provided with community-based mental health and psychosocial support 


UNICEF has already helped reach more than 2.5 billion people with COVID-19 prevention messaging. At a time when fake news can do real harm, UNICEF is teaming up with Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok to dispel rumors and make sure that health education messages specifically tailored for children, parents and caregivers, teachers, community leaders and the media reach all corners of the globe.

When children and teens need help, UNICEF delivers both emergency supplies and the tools young people need to take action. In Indonesia, where the nation's first case of COVID-19 was reported on March 2, UNICEF teamed up with the government to conduct a poll via U-Report — a youth engagement tool that uses mobile phones to connect with more than 68 million users worldwide — to test young people's knowledge of coronavirus. The poll generated 6,800 responses in three days and helped to identify what young people know and don't know about symptoms, transmission and prevention. Up-to-date messages on how to stay safe were shared with all 108,000 U-Reporters across the country. Results from the poll were used to create a COVID-19 chatbot that is now being scaled up in 42 countries.


COVID-19 has upended children’s lives and forced them to quickly adapt to a new “normal.” These adjustments can feel isolating, scary and confusing. But showing children that we’re all in this together is one great way to quell their fears, give them purpose and help them to feel a little braver. 

It’s also important that children have the space to discuss how they’re feeling and what they’re experiencing. Here are a few tips for approaching this conversation:

  • Find out what they already know, then ask open questions and listen
  • Be honest: Explain the truth in a way that's appropriate for their age
  • Show them how to protect themselves and their friends
  • Offer reassurance
  • Check if they are experiencing stigma or repeating hurtful remarks about others

If they say they are anxious or show signs of distress — moodiness, hypervigilance about your health or theirs, difficulty sleeping — there are many ways you can help:

  • A schedule for schoolwork, chores, exercise, screen time and playtime will help children stay productive and feel more secure
  • Set up virtual playdates. Staying connected with friends supports kids’ social development and allows them to see that the people they care about are healthy and managing during this difficult time
  • Keep tabs on kids when they’re online: Parental controls offer some security. But it’s still important to check in with kids frequently about what they are doing, who they are communicating with and how the exchanges they are having make them feel  
  • Encourage your children to cook, clean and do chores with you. Use this time as an opportunity for them to learn new skills  

As we adjust to a new normal, UNICEF has teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, USAID and others to provide tips and activities to help children and families cope with COVID-19. Click below to download!


UNICEF USA "Ask The Expert" Video Series with Child Psychologist, Dr. Tovah Klein on helping children cope with COVID-19

Another way to empower kids and show them they’re not alone: Encourage them to give back to their community. Millions of young students across the country have been affected by school closures, but they can still band together. UNICEF Kid Power offers a way to keep them moving and learning at home while making a difference.

Get Active. Get Kid Power at Home.
UNICEF Kid Power is a free dance, yoga and activity platform that kids can use to stay active and raise money for their peers—all from the comfort of home.


Check out our virtual event for an inside look at how UNICEF responds to the world’s most pressing emergencies, including the coronavirus pandemic. These are stories from the front lines — with an amazing array of special guests, including Cher, P!nk, Matthew Morrison, Jordin Sparks, Téa Leoni, Pau Gasol, Salma Hayek Pinault, Sofia Carson, Halima Aden and more!


U.S. Fund for UNICEF d/b/a UNICEF USA is exempt from tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and qualifies for the maximum charitable contribution deduction by donors. Our Federal Identification Number is 13-1760110