Here at home, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF mobilized support from people across the United States to guarantee that UNICEF will be there in the coming year to help and protect the world’s most vulnerable children, wherever they are.
Philippines - Following the devastation of Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest storms on record, UNICEF mobilized to respond to the needs of some six million children. In addition to emergency water and sanitation, and medical and nutrition supplies, UNICEF is also providing educational and recreational materials. Throughout the weeks of recovery, the resilience, optimism and creativity of communities coping with hardship have been an inspiration.
Syria — In late 2013, the World Health Organization confirmed the first cases of polio in Syria in 14 years. The outbreak is a tragic result of deteriorating conditions in Syria, where conflict has disrupted routine vaccinations. UNICEF and partners have mobilized a massive immunization campaign — the largest in the region’s history — to vaccinate 23 million children in Syria and neighboring countries.
Chad — The effects of the 2012 drought in the Sahel continued to challenge families in Chad; more than 2 million people remain food insecure. UNICEF is tackling the vicious cycle of disease and malnutrition with scaled up screening and treatment. In some districts, as many as 46 percent of all children are chronically malnourished due to the prolonged food crisis.
India – The U.S. Fund for UNICEF has raised more than $100,000 for UNICEF programs supporting children living with disabilities. They include initiatives like this one, focusing on girls with hearing loss, at a school in Bihar, India. In 2013, the U.S. Fund also helped to secure 30,000 signatures for a special petition to Congress to urge ratification of the Convention on the rights of People with Disabilities.
Central African Republic – Conflict in the Central African Republic is wreaking havoc on young lives as children face violence, deprivation, displacement and trafficking. Medical services have been greatly interrupted in the country, where only 62 percent of children are vaccinated. Despite the violence, UNICEF and partners immunized more than 480,000 children to curb the spread of measles.
New York City – Over 250 young UNICEF activists participated in the 2013 UNICEF Campus Initiative Summit in New York City. Students from more than 80 colleges gathered for the weekend-long event, which included a Hunger Banquet that simulated, symbolically and literally, food inequality around the world.
Mali — Children in northern Mali were able to return to school this year. A year-long occupation of the region by militants had forced thousands of families to flee their homes, disrupting the education of 700,000 children. UNICEF is supporting the government’s post-war reconstruction of the education system in order to get children back into the classroom as quickly as possible.
Child mortality – UNICEF celebrated another milestone in reducing the number of preventable childhood deaths. New data shows that the number of children under the age of five who die every year of preventable causes has been reduced by nearly 50 percent over the past 12 years —from 12.6 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF plays its part by keeping child survival front and center as a commitment of the U.S. Government to the children of the world.
New Jersey — UNICEF launched a campaign this fall to send warm winter clothes and boots to children affected by the conflict in Syria. Volunteers from the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, along with volunteers from logistics partner UPS, packed and shipped thousands of winter clothing kits during one high-impact Saturday in October at a facility in Carteret, New Jersey.
Nelson Mandela – The passing of Nelson Mandela, a warrior for peace and justice, was mourned by people around the world. UNICEF has a special connection to Mandela through the Schools for Africa initiative, which he helped found.