Latest annual report shows progress made for children worldwide
NEW YORK (July 15, 2013) – Global progress was made for millions of children in 2012 despite financial concerns in much of the world and complex emergencies affecting children in nearly 80 countries, according to UNICEFs latest annual report.
“As the Millennium Development Goals deadline approaches, we have cause to celebrate declining poverty rates, the near eradication of polio, increased immunizations, more girls attending school, improved access to clean water and nutrition, and more children surviving and thriving beyond their fifth birthdays than ever before,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “But these results are no excuse for rest.”
Emergencies dominated the headlines in 2012, and the report notes that UNICEF and its partners responded to 286 humanitarian crises in 79 countries. The humanitarian crisis resulting from the civil war in Syria, for example, demanded tremendous resources from UNICEF, which helped provide uninterrupted access to education for nearly 80,000 children affected by the conflict, supported measles vaccination for more than 1.4 million children, and provided psychosocial care for an estimated 47,000 children. UNICEF also delivered safe water in refugee camps and to host communities, benefiting more than 100,000 people, and winter supplies to more than 260,000 people.
Beyond emergencies, UNICEF continued its work to ensure the survival and development of children globally. For example, in 2012, UNICEF provided therapeutic feeding programs for more than 2.1 million severely malnourished children under the age of five, measles vaccination for nearly 44 million children, access to safe water for 18.8 million people, and access to education for more than 3.5 million children.
In June 2012, UNICEF joined the Governments of Ethiopia, India and the United States to launch Committing to Child Survival: A Promise Renewed, a global movement to end preventable child deaths. By the end of 2012, representatives of 168 governments and more than 400 civil society and faith-based organizations had pledged to redouble efforts to save every child from a preventable death. With support from UNICEF and its partners, governments took the lead in sharpening national health plans and setting measurable milestones.
Capitalizing on innovation to reach the most disadvantaged was also central to UNICEF’s work in 2012. For example, in many countries, low birth registration rates leave children unable to attend school and vulnerable to trafficking, among other dangers. In Nigeria and Uganda, UNICEF devised a system for registering births using text messaging. Similarly, to quickly diagnose and treat HIV-infected infants in Zambia, UNICEF supported a RapidSMS program that, between 2010 and 2012, transmitted more than 10,000 HIV test results, slashing delivery time from 44 days to 26.
UNICEF also helped lead various innovative initiatives. For example, in March 2012, UNICEF helped form the UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children, which aims at improving access to high-impact, low-cost health interventions for children under five and women of childbearing age. Of 13 life-saving commodities identified as priorities by the Commission, UNICEF is the leading procurer for 10.
The organization remains both a world leader in the procurement of supplies for children and the world’s largest provider of vaccines to developing countries. In 2012, UNICEF’s procurement strategies and innovative financing mechanisms generated savings of more than $197 million.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories to save and improve children’s lives, providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when ZERO children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.
For additional information, please contact:
Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, [email protected]