As the United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF, commemorates its 70 years anniversary, the agency has lamented that despite this impressive progress, millions of children are still being left behind because they live in poverty or in hard-to-reach communities, because of their gender, race, religion, ethnic group, or because they have a disability.
UNICEF stated that nearly 250 million children are growing up in countries affected by conflict and nearly 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes.
As the agency commemorated its 70th anniversary on 11th December
2016 it stated the immense progress it has made for the world’s children and also renewed an urgent call to reach millions of children whose lives and futures are endangered by conflict, crisis, poverty, inequality and discrimination.
UNICEF, Executive Director, Anthony Lake in a release on the occasion of its anniversary said , “UNICEF was founded after World War II to bring help and hope to all children at risk or in need – no matter which country they lived in or what role that country played in the war. Our mission is no less urgent and universal today.’’
“With so many children around the world in so much need, we are recommitting ourselves to delivering results for every child.”
UNICEF’s vision for the next 70 years is a world in which our work is no longer necessary — a world in which every child is healthy, safe, educated, cared for and protected … and all children can make the most of their potential,” said Lake. “It’s the right thing to do and the surest path to a better future for us all.’’
‘’The organization was established by the United Nations General Assembly to help children in post-war Europe, China and the Middle East. Funded entirely through voluntary contributions from governments, civil society, the private sector and concerned citizens, it rapidly expanded its reach and by 1955 was working for children in more than 90 countries.’’
UNICEF said today the agency is the world’s largest children’s organization, working with partners in 190 countries and territories and through the efforts of 13,000 national and international staff to reach every child. UNICEF’s further stated that its relentless engagement in the world’s toughest places has helped create remarkable progress for children in recent decades.
The number of children dying before their fifth birthdays has been more than halved in the past 25 years. Hundreds of millions of children have been lifted out of poverty. Out-of-school rates among primary-school-aged children have been reduced by more than 40 per cent since 1990.