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1946-1956

1946-1956   1957-1966   1967-1976
1977-1986   1987-1996   1997-200
4

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Thematic Overview

 
Year Notes
1946 Trygve Lie (Norway) takes office as Secretary-General of UN, serving until  December 1952.

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 secretariat.

Maurice Pate is appointed Executive Director.
1947 First substantial government contributions are received (from the United States and Canada).

A supplementary feeding programme is approved for children and nursing and pregnant mothers in 13 European countries.

First private contribution is received. First National Committee for UNICEF is formed (U.S.).
1948 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.
1949 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. 
1950 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 territories.

Decision is made to devote a greater share of the Fund’s resources to programmes outside Europe.
1951 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 countries.
1952 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 sold.

1953 Dag Hammarskjöld (Sweden) takes office as Secretary- General of UN, serving until  September 1961 when he is killed in an air crash.

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.
1954 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.
1955 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
in operation.
1956 UNICEF votes funds to help countries develop new low-cost protein-rich foods for weanlings and pre-school children.

Executive Board approves aid for control of goitre through ionization of salt. Basic equipment is provided this year for over 11,000 maternal and child health centres.


 

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