Source description last updated: 29 September 2021

In brief: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was created by the United Nations General Assembly after World War II as the “United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund”, with the aim of providing aid to children.

Coverage on

Documents from UNICEF are not covered regularly, but uploaded to on a case by case basis.


“Across more than 190 countries and territories, we do whatever it takes to help children survive, thrive and fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.” (UNICEF Website, About UNICEF, undated)

“UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children’s rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children. UNICEF insists that the survival, protection and development of children are universal development imperatives that are integral to human progress. UNICEF mobilizes political will and material resources to help countries, particularly developing countries, ensure a ‘first call for children’ and to build their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services for children and their families. UNICEF is committed to ensuring special protection for the most disadvantaged children - victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation, and those with disabilities. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children. [...] UNICEF aims, through its country programmes, to promote the equal rights of women and girls and to support their full participation in the political, social and economic development of their communities. UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.” (UNICEF Website, UNICEF mission statement, undated)

“UNICEF has helped reduce child mortality all over the world by working to reach the most vulnerable children, everywhere. [...] UNICEF works around the world to support quality learning for every girl and boy, especially those in greatest danger of being left behind. [...] UNICEF is on the ground before, during, and after emergencies, working to reach children and families with lifesaving aid and long-term assistance. [...] UNICEF works all over the world to empower girls and women, and to ensure their full participation in political, social, and economic systems. [...]  UNICEF delivers sustainable access to lifesaving supplies where they are most needed [...]” (UNICEF Website, What we do, undated)


“UNICEF’s work is funded entirely through the voluntary support of millions of people around the world and our partners in government, civil society and the private sector.” (UNICEF Website, Frequently Asked Questions, undated)

“Revenue for humanitarian assistance (US$2,356 million in 2020) was 15 per cent higher than in 2019. The humanitarian funding requirement increased to US$6,315 million in 2020, from US$4,133 million in 2019” (UNICEF: Responding to COVID-19; UNICEF Annual Report 2020, June 2021, p. 34)

“Despite the challenges of COVID-19, 2020 was a record-breaking year for UNICEF, with a total revenue of $7,548 million, an increase of 18 per cent from 2019. Revenue from the public sector and private sector was essential to UNICEF’s rapid and agile response to COVID-19. COVID reaffirmed the importance of flexible funding. It allows for rapid, efficient and agile emergency response while also sustaining essential longer-term programming that builds resilience. However, the ratio of regular resources to total revenue decreased by 3 percentage points from 2019 (from 22 per cent to 19 per cent).” (UNICEF: Responding to COVID-19; UNICEF Annual Report 2020, June 2021, p. 46)

Total revenue in 2020 was $7,548 million, of which 66% came from governments and international agencies, 21% came from the private sector and non-governmental organizations, 10% came from inter-organizational arrangements and 3% was other revenue. The strongest contributors to UNICEF’s funding were the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. (UNICEF: Responding to COVID-19; UNICEF Annual Report 2020, June 2021, p. 46-47)

Scope of reporting:

Geographic focus: All countries.

Thematic focus: Well-being of children.


“The heart of UNICEF’s work is in the field. Each country office carries out UNICEF’s mission through a unique program of cooperation developed with the host government. This five-year programme focuses on practical ways to realize the rights of children and women. Their needs are analyzed in a situation report produced at the beginning of the program cycle. Regional offices guide this work and provide technical assistance to country offices as needed. [...] Overall management and administration of the organization takes place at headquarters, where global policy on children is shaped. Specialized offices include the Supply Division, based in Copenhagen, which provides such essential items as the majority of life-saving vaccine doses for children in developing countries. UNICEF also operates the Innocenti Research Centre in Florence and Offices for Japan and Brussels, which assist with fund-raising and liaison with policy makers.” There are also “36 National Committees for UNICEF. These non-governmental organizations promote children’s rights, raise funds, sell UNICEF greeting cards and products, create keycorporate [sic!] and civil society partnerships, and provide other invaluable support. The committees raise a third of UNICEF’s resources. [...] Guiding and monitoring all of UNICEF’s work is a 36-memberExecutive [sic!] Board made up of government representatives. They establish policies, approve programmes and decide on administrative and financial plans and budgets. Members are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, usually for three-year terms.” (Website of Tyro City, Structure of UNICEF, undated)

“UNICEF National Committees in the Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden, worked on the development of child-specific country of origin reports (COI). These country reports (Child notices) describe the situation of children in countries of origin of migrant children.” (UNICEF Netherlands Website, Child Notices, undated)

“UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories. Our vast network of skilled and committed staff means we can take successful approaches from one place in the world and adapt them to meet challenges elsewhere, helping drive results for children and young people at a global scale. [...] Strong partnerships with governments, NGOs, civil society and the private sector make UNICEF’s work for children possible.” (UNICEF Website, For every child, results, undated)

Languages of publications:
English, French, Spanish, Chinese, Russian, German, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic, Portuguese, Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish, Serbian, Macedonian, Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Georgian, Armenian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Greek, Catalan, Czech, Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Slovakian, Slovenian, Persian, Bengali, Nepalese

Further reading / links:

UNICEF: Responding to COVID-19; UNICEFAnnual Report 2020, June 2021

UNICEF, The State of the World’s Children 1996

INSEAD Knowledge, Agility Under Pressure, 27 April, 2017

UNICEF: Office of Research-Innocenti

UNICEF Nederland Child notices:

All links accessed 29 September 2021.

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