(Norway) takes office as Secretary-General of UN, serving until
The United Nations General Assembly
unanimously establishes an International Children’s Emergency Fund,
to mount crash relief programmes for children and adolescents in
war-ravished countries and for “child health purposes generally”.
Aid is to be distributed
without discrimination because of race, creed, nationality, status
or political belief.
Fund has semi-autonomous status in United
Nations, its own governing
body (25 governments later increased to 30), and its own
Maurice Pate is appointed Executive Director.
First substantial government
contributions are received (from the United States and Canada).
supplementary feeding programme is approved for children and nursing
and pregnant mothers in 13 European countries.
contribution is received. First National Committee for UNICEF is
UNICEF aid is provided for the first
time to Asia and Palestine refugee mothers end children.
Milk conservation programmes are started to help rebuild collection,
pasteurizing and drying facilities in Europe.
First mass disease-control programme is started: UNICEF joins Danish
Red Cross and Scandinavian Associates in BCG anti-tuberculosis mass
vaccinations (a campaign which will have tested 155 million children
and vaccinated 60 million by 1955).
UNICEF Board requests Executive Director to prepare a study on
continuing needs of children in many parts of the world for
long-term programmes in child nutrition, health and welfare.
UNICEF aid for Latin America is
approved for first time.
Sale of UNICEF Greeting cards begins. The first greeting card was
drawn by a Czech schoolgirl, Jitka Samkova, to express her appreciation for the food, clothing
and cod-liver oil UNICEF had sent the children of her village in the
grim winter of 1946-7. Jitka's card was privately printed by the
UNICEF staff at Lake Success for their own use and subsequently
launched a world-wide fund raising activity for UNICEF: hundreds of
millions of cards have since been mailed providing about one third
of UNICEF's annual income.
Some six million children are receiving daily supplementary meals by
mid-1950; several million are receiving clothing and shoes processed
from cotton, wool and leather supplied by UNICEF.
Contributions during the year total $15.3 million - over 70 per cent
from 47 governments; over 20 per cent from residual assets of UNRRA;
the rest ($1.3 million) from private contributors, mainly United
Nations Appeal for Children Campaign in 75 countries and
Decision is made to devote a greater share of the Fund’s resources
to programmes outside Europe.
UNICEF Executive Board decides Fund will concentrate on maternal
and child welfare services; training of child care personnel; campaign
to fight diseases affecting children (especially tuberculosis,
malaria, trachoma and yaws); and child nutrition.
The Fund also continues to respond to requests for emergency relief
of children in disasters (droughts, floods, earthquakes). Board
agrees on criteria for assessing needs of different areas and
UNICEF assistance in Africa, south of
the Sahara begins.
NGO Committee on UNICEF (growing out of an advisory group of
non-governmental organizations established in 1949) is granted
consultative status with UNICEF’s Executive Board.
More than 1 million greeting cards
Hammarskjöld (Sweden) takes office as Secretary- General of UN,
serving until September 1961 when he is killed in an air
UNICEF begins aid for
environmental sanitation projects to prevent childhood sickness and
deaths and large-scale leprosy control measures.
In October, the General Assembly extends UNICEF’s mandate
indefinitely, reaffirming the broader terms of reference established
for the Fund in 1950.
The words “International”and “Emergency”are
dropped from the official name, which now becomes the United Nations
Children’s Fund, but the original acronym UNICEF is by now too
well-known to drop.
To encourage longer-term planning,
Executive Board decides to make commitments to projects for several
years, instead of only for one year at a time. It adopts policy of
paying stipends for trainees and instructors; this opens the way for
expansion of aid to training schemes in developing countries.
The popular American comedian and motion picture star Danny Kaye
volunteers to work for UNICEF and becomes “Ambassador-at-Large”,
traveling around the world. He makes a 20-minute documentary film,
“Assignment Children”, seen by more than 100 million people.
UNICEF is now assisting projects in 92
countries and territories; 61 governments are contributing annually
to UNICEF (up from 30 in 1950).
UNICEF joins WHO in world-wide campaign to eradicate malaria, a
leading child killer.
Eleven National Committees for UNICEF are now
UNICEF votes funds to help countries
develop new low-cost protein-rich foods for weanlings and pre-school
Executive Board approves aid for control of goitre through
ionization of salt. Basic equipment is provided this year for
11,000 maternal and child health centres.