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UNICEF Milestones

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

see also Thematic Overview

Year Notes
1997 Kofi A. Annan (Ghana) takes office as Secretary-General of UN, serving until December 2006.

Challenges facing UNICEF in 1997:
 intensified efforts for achieving the year 2000 goals set at the World Summit for Children in 1990; preventing deaths of 600,000 women each year from complications in pregnancy and childbirth; educating 140 million school-age children who are still not in school, 60 per cent of them girls; helping 250 million working children, many trapped in dangerous and exploitative labour; and providing safe water disposal for the 2.9 billion people, half of them children, at risk of disease and death because of inadequate sanitation. In a world of plenty, malnutrition contributes to nearly 7 million child deaths each year.

Renewing the UN
: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan issues his proposals for "Renewing the United Nations: a programme for reform". The reform also calls for greater coordination and harmonization among agencies of the UN, with the creation of a UN Development Group promising greater coordination and integration of operational activities for development. UNICEF participates actively in this group, which includes the establishment at country level of the UN Development Assistance framework (UNDAF) and the introduction of processes for Common Country Assessments (CCA).

Programme processes within UNICEF: 1997-2000 described as a time of transformation for UNICEF which saw the need to push hard for the fullest possible achievement of the year 2000 goals and to go even further, working towards a new global agenda for children in the 21st century, based solidly in child rights. Major preoccupations: include: Management Excellence, UN reform, and drawing up a far-reaching agenda for the next millennium which will incorporate the lessons learned over the last five decades. It will also devise ways to benefit from unparalleled advances in communications, science and technology. Addressing the main obstacles for children and women, such as poverty, gender discrimination, exploitation and violence, it will amount to nothing less than a global plan of action to kick-start progress for children and women in the 21st century”.

International Conference on Child Labour: UNICEF joins other participants at the conference sponsored by the Government of Norway in Oslo in adopting a global agenda for eliminating the worst forms of hazardous and exploitative employment of children. UNICEF collaborated with ILO on advocacy campaign in preparation. UNICEF follow-up includes development of multi-country projects based on education as a preventive strategy against child labour. By 2000, UNICEF helps 29 countries introduce education programmes aimed at preventing child labour.

Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, signed by 123 nations in Ottawa. UNICEF helped draft the convention and strongly promoted its ratification and implementation. In 1992, UNICEF had joined the call for an all-out ban on landmines, and in 1995 it announced it would refrain from procuring goods or services from any company involved in landmine production for sale. It cooperated with and supported the International Campaign to Ban Landmines, a coalition of more than 1,000 NGOs whose coordinator, Jody Williams, won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1997, and also used its representatives as ‘ambassadors’ or envoys to lobby governments for ratification. It is the lead agency for landmine awareness education and in 1997 produced ‘The Silent Shout’ – a 10-minute sensitization video for children .

Safe Motherhood Follow-up Conference co-sponsored by UNICEF in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Guidelines for monitoring the availability and use of obstetric services published jointly with UNFPA and WHO.

Renewing the UN: Kofi Annan takes over from Boutros Ghali as SG of UN in January. Launch of SG’s UN reform with adoption by GA on 20 June of the SG’s Agenda for Development. Building on agreements reached in the international conferences of the 1990s, it represents a major step in articulating an international consensus concerning the goals and requirements for socio-economic development and provides a comprehensive framework for international development cooperation, recognizing the importance not only of economic growth, but of democracy, human rights, popular participation, good governance and the empowerment of women as well. In response to the agenda, UNICEF worked together with sister organizations of UNDG (UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, WFP) to create a common development assistance framework (UNDAF) and chaired sub-group on programme policy development for UNDAF. UNICEF saw its participation in UN reform strengthened by its own internal reform processes in Management Excellence, which was seen to help streamline operations and devolve more management functions to regional and field offices.

Appointment of Olara Otunnu as Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict (September) with a mandate to promote the protection, rights and welfare of children at every phase of conflict: preventively before conflict erupts, in the midst of conflict, and in post-conflict situations.

Ted Turner establishes UN Foundation with a $1 billion grant to the UN.

Development with a human face produced, tracing 10 developing countries over the past 3-4 decades, showing how they achieved significant social development despite uneven economic progress;

Cartoons for Children’s rights campaign launched in December 1997, as an animation consortium producing 30-second spots on articles of the CRC and donating to UNICEF for broadcasters free of charge.

Total contributions reached US$907 million.
1998 Follow up to the World Summit: At 53rd session of GA, SG reports on progress made in follow-up to WSC, recalling decision to hold the Special Session, and referring to possible ‘additional’ event, with particular attention to the participation of civil society and children themselves. SG also calls upon UNICEF to coordinate a global review of progress in implementation of WSC, drawing on subnational, national and regional reviews and specific thematic debates including those held in connection with the 10th anniversary of the CRC. Review to provide an overall assessment of progress achieved, including lessons learned, analysis of main factors inhibiting progress and overview of remaining challenges and key issues, followed by specific recommendations for the future.

UNICEF Programme guidelines aim at accelerated progress on the goals. Targeted key WSC goals including increased immunization coverage and improved access to education in countries where progress was most needed. The 4 over-arching goals aim to 1) reduce death and illness among young children and prevent childhood disability; 2) reduce maternal deaths, disabilities and illness; 3) improve children’s access to education and enhance educational quality; 4) reduce exploitation, abuse and harm of children. Other priorities identified for early child care; adolescent health and development; improved data on children and women. At the same time, progress made on developing a new agenda for the beginning of the next century to ensure that collaborative work with colleagues and partners has a profound and lasting results: “As the new millennium dawns, we will play a greater part in addressing the causes of poverty as well as the symptoms, to help break the persistent patterns that underlie inequality, violence and wasted human potential. UNICEF programmes will increasingly aim to support children and women in critical periods of the life cycle – early childhood, primary school years, adolescence, and the reproductive years – when interventions can truly make a lasting difference”.

UNICEF adopts a human rights-based programming approach with significant implications for all aspects of programming.

UNICEF Medium-term plan for the period 1998-2001 (E/ICEF/1998/13), approved by the Executive Board, covering the critical transition bridging the last years of the 20th century and the first years of the 21st. Informed by lessons learned in the process of implementing the WSC plan of action and through the near universal ratification of the CRC, the plan is organized around 4 major organizational priorities: Enhancing partnerships and promoting advocacy on children’s rights; Programme priorities; Improving the availability and use of data in critical areas; and Strengthening management and operations. Key programme priorities include: reducing young child mortality and morbidity; improving early childhood care for child growth and development; preventing child disability; improving access to and quality of basic education; improving adolescent health and development; protection from exploitation, violence and abuse; prevention of gender discrimination and promotion of gender equality; and reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.

Development of a life-cycle approach and framework for programming and policy.

Martigny Consultation, September 1998 – Global Consultation of UNICEF Representatives to formulate a set of recommendations to improve its response to the needs of children and women in unstable situations, within the context of a mainstreamed programme approach and greater predictability. Leads to development of UNICEF’s Core Corporate Commitments in emergencies approved by the Executive Board in 2000.

Roll Back Malaria Campaign launched for this major killer of children, with UNICEF joining WHO, UNDP and WB to strengthen health services, make effective and affordable anti-malarial drugs available to communities in need; explore research into a malaria vaccine, support development of even more effective drugs; and promote the use of mosquito nets treated with insecticide.

Global Polio Eradication Initiative, launched with WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other partners, redoubles global efforts to wipe out the crippling disease. In 1998, the polio virus still circulates in 50 countries; by the end of 2000, the number falls to 2000.

Indicators for global monitoring of child rights: International meeting sponsored by UNICEF, 9-12 February 1998, Geneva Switzerland, with the aim of developing additional indicators to monitor progress on the realization of child rights. Results in the incorporation of key questions on child work, birth registration, orphanhood and disabilities in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Surveys (MICS II) data collection efforts at end-decade.

Global March against Child Labour: Massive NGO-driven event designed to raise awareness of the issue – supported by UNICEF through its National Committees.

Youth Leadership Forum in July, sponsored by UNICEF and Time Warner, brought 36 young people to UN NY as part of Summer of Goodwill/1998 Goodwill Games.

UN Foundation approves $18 million for UNICEF. Money to be used for child health and nutrition and women’s health and education.

Agreement on participation in EFA assessment (UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, UNESCO, and World Bank) to review achievements made in education since the Jomtien Conference in 1990.

Joint UNICEF/WHO Committee on Health Policy (JCHP) expanded to include UNFPA, and thereafter known as the Coordinating Committee on Health.

Adoption of Rome Statute for International Criminal Court, which include crimes against humanity and war crimes against children and women (July).

UN Security Council debates children and armed conflict for the first time, reflecting the magnitude of international concern for the impact of wars on children.

In Angola, more than 600,000 children actualized their right to a name and nationality during a countrywide campaign to document the births of all unregistered children in a UNICEF and partners supported effort.

In countries with high child mortality, UNICEF helps half of all children receive at least one high-dose of vitamin A supplement. UNICEF assists dozens of countries in building their capacity to gather vital information on children and women so that problems can be identified and addressed.
UNICEF provides humanitarian assistance to 55 countries compared to 15 countries in 1994. Nearly 50 million women and children need such assistance and protection worldwide. Armed conflict continues in Afghanistan, Yugoslavia and Sierra Leone. Hurricane Mitch unleashed the worst destruction by a natural disaster in 50 years in Central America. In Peru, 90 per cent of the country was affected by the El Nino phenomenon. And floods devastate large areas of Bangladesh, China and the Horn of Africa. Special attention is given to addressing the rights of children and women that occur in times of crisis.

Total contributions reached US$966 million.
1999 UNICEF sharpening definition of programme focus and global agenda beyond 2000: ( “The Focus of UNICEF’s Work Beyond 2000”, CF/EXD/IC/1999-02 and “The future global agenda for children- imperatives for the 21st century” (E/ICEF/1999/10, 13 April 1999), presented to UNICEF Executive Board at June 1999 annual session. Presents preliminary recommendations on future action for children and the focus of UNICEF work beyond 2000. Recommendations include a call for concerted global action to address the main challenges facing children and women, including: gender discrimination; HIV/AIDS; declining Official Development Assistance (ODA) and debt relief; growing disparities, instability and conflict.

GA resolution 54/93 on the end-decade review and Special Session for Children: reiterates previous call (in resolution 51/186, 1996) for end-decade review of WSC achievements; schedules the Special Session for September 2001 and sets out its scope; establishes an open-ended preparatory committee, and calls for broad participation of preparatory processes. The resolution also requests the Secretary-General, with the support of UNICEF, to assist in providing substantive input to the preparatory process and at the Special Session.

End decade review processes begin to get underway, with development of MICS II and guidance notes to field offices.

Leadership Initiative for Children launched by UNICEF (CF/EXD/1999-002, 3/25/1999) as stimulus for renewed commitment to children at all levels. UNICEF regional offices begin events and activities.

GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) established, with UNICEF a key partner, along with WHO, WB, major foundations, pharmaceutical vaccine industry, national governments and others. GAVI is a ground-breaking partnership to help countries strengthen their immunization services and introduce new and underused vaccines for children to ensure that all children are vaccinated with every effective vaccine. UNICEF, now the major supplier of vaccines to developing countries, serves as GAVI’s secretariat.
UNICEF joined 9 major commercial airlines to launch the ‘One World Alliance for UNICEF’ – the first airline alliance to adopt a charitable cause, with participating airlines pledging to raise money, including through ‘Change for Good’, the collection of unused foreign currency from passengers aboard international flights.

Peace and Security Agenda launched by UNICEF at the Security Council in February, building on UNICEF’s ongoing Anti-War Agenda, with a set of goals and principals to help guide international efforts on behalf of children and women in armed conflict, including measures such as ending the use of child soldiers, enforcing the Ottawa treaty, protecting children from sanctions, reducing the availability of small arms/light weapons, and improving safety for humanitarian workers.

10th anniversary of the adoption of CRC serves as an occasion for UNICEF-supported special events, particularly at the GA Special Commemoration session. Activities include a panel discussion, exhibit, support for children’s views and the launch of ‘Making Children Count’ , an experimental web-based data base providing information on CRC implementation measures.

International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) +5 event takes place in New York (30 June – 2 July), to assess progress since the 1994 Cairo conference and renew commitments for the future. The review provided growing evidence that the ICPD agenda is practical and realistic, and that despite all obstacles, it is being put into practice. The review included reports on national implementation efforts, global expert meetings and an international forum at the Hague, organized by UNFA, culminating in a special session of the United Nations General Assembly, which identified key actions needed for further implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action and new benchmarks for measuring progress towards the ICPD goals.

Entry into force of the Ottawa Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines, and on their destruction (March).

Adoption of ILO Convention No 182 on the Immediate Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour (June).

Entry into force of the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (November), providing African states with the first regional treaty on the rights of children and setting important standards for protection.

Security Council resolution 1261 on children and armed conflict (August 25), an illustration of the growing visibility of children in international peace and security issues.

UNAIDS launches International Partnership against AIDS in Africa. Joint UNICEF/UNAIDS report published to draw attention to the magnitude and plight of AIDS orphans worldwide, particularly in SSA; Joint policy statement on HIV/AIDS and infant feeding issued by WHO, UNICEF and UNAIDs.
UNICEF prepares report on 20/20 initiative, in preparation for WSSD+5, with recommendations to strengthen future actions, including enhanced partnerships, continued monitoring and implementation, ODA reporting and support, capacity-building and dissemination of best practices.

For a second year in a row, more than two-thirds of the world's children under five are immunized against polio in a partnership of Rotary International, UNICEF, WHO and others.

31 million refugees and displaced persons, mostly women and children, are caught up in conflict situations.  300,000 children are serving in armed forces, often forcibly, as soldiers and servants, and many are forced into sexual slavery. About 6,000 children are killed or maimed by landmines planted in places where children live, play and go to school.

In Kosovo, where schools are decimated during the war, a UNICEF-led alliance of relief organizations, international donors and local communities provide alternative spaces for classrooms and repair schools. 97 per cent of primary schoolchildren were back in class by the end of 1999.

Global Compact: UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (in an address to the World Economic Forum on 31 January 1999) challenges world business leaders to join in a ‘global compact’ to help build the social and environmental pillars required to sustain the new global economy and make globalization work for all the world's people. His proposal is followed by a series of preparatory meetings of key partners, prior to the launch of the Compact’s operational phase at a high-level event at UN Headquarters on 26 July 2000.

Total contributions reached US$1,118 million.
2000 Security Council discussed AIDs at its meeting in January, reflecting expansion of concern for the global impact of the epidemic.

1st Global level consultation between UNICEF and civil society organizations (CSOs) on global movement for children, including concept of a New Global Agenda (in February 2000), following which Human Rights Watch convened a ‘Child Rights Caucus’ of CSOs/NGOs interested in contributing to the substance of the new global agenda. In May, the Caucus met with UNICEF to outline key issues they wished to see addressed. They also undertook to continue the process of dialogue with CSOs/NGOs, including convening meetings of the Caucus in June at the first substantive prepcom session.

1st Substantive session of the Preparatory Committee )prepcom) (May 30 – 2 June 2000) discusses Emerging issues for children paper, drawing on previous UNICEF Executive Board report on the Future Global agenda and extensive technical consultation with a range of experts in government, UN, NGO and academic community. Three panel discussions at prepcom with experts discussing  progress and constraints in implementation of the WSC goals; emerging issues for children; and future actions to address critical needs at each stage of the life cycle. Significant participation by NGOs and children.

Consultative processes underway on key elements of a ‘global agenda’ for children – merging into drafting processes for the Special Session Outcome document (“We the children”).

End-decade review processes: Data-collection activities get underway, with MICs II conducted in 66 countries as the largest single data collection effort in history to monitor children’s rights and well-being. (Demographic and Health surveys conducted in another 35 countries). Extensive national review processes receive high-level political commitment; involve a variety of participants, and draw on a wide range of information sources to assess progress for children and establish priorities for the future. By the time of the Special Session in May 2002, 158 national end-decade reports had been received from governments from all regions of the world, including industrialized countries, along with 15 reports by UN agencies and others. UNICEF regional offices and country offices provide their own assessments, all of which are incorporated into a ‘lessons learned’ exercise led by UNICEF and feed into the SG’s report on progress and achievements at end-decade “We the children” (see 2001).

World Education Forum, jointly organized by UNESCO, UNICEF, UNDP, UNFPA, and World Bank in Dakar in April to review the findings of the EFA 2000 assessment. The forum confirmed the expanded vision of education outlined at the 1990 World Conference on Education for All held in Jomtien, Thailand, and proposed a new set of time-bound goals and strategies in basic education for the new decade and beyond. It recommends giving priority to countries in sub-saharan Africa and South Asia; to other LDCs; and to countries in crisis.

UN Girls’ Education Initiative launched by SG in April 2000 as a sustained campaign to improve the quality and availability of girls’ education through a collaborative partnership of different entities within and outside the UN, with UNICEF as lead agency.

South Summit convened by the Group of 77 in Havana, with 133 developing countries adopting a Declaration which includes specific consideration of children’s rights and needs and addresses such issues as women and children in poverty; HIV/AIDS; children in armed conflict; and the trafficking of women and children. The Declaration welcomed the decision to convene a special session on children and expressed full commitment to its preparation.

The 13th International Conference on HIV/AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases held in Durban, South Africa in July, with the theme of breaking the silence on AIDS, viewing the epidemic as a challenge to all sectors of society.

G-8 Summit in Okinawa, Japan in July gave special impetus to promoting the well-being of children through a special initiative to combat infectious diseases.

United Nations Millennium Summit, held at UN HQ in New York (September 6-8) gathers together 185 world leaders and results in a Summit Millennium Declaration with specific Millennium Development Goals and commitments regarding children, youth and women on issues related to U5MR; MMR; HIV-AIDS and AIDS orphans; malaria and other major diseases; education; young people’s livelihood; and humanitarian assistance. The Secretary-General's vision for a renewed UN role and concrete proposals for action as outlined in his report “We the peoples” was a central focus of the Millennium Summit. The spouses of 70 heads of state and government attending the Summit gathered at the Forum on Girls’ Education focusing on the gender gap in education.

The International Conference on War-Affected Children, held in Winnipeg, Canada in September, convened representatives of Governments, NGOs, experts and young people around the world to discuss issues of children affected by armed conflict, with presentation preliminary recommendations from the Graca Machel update study on the effects of the Impact of War on Children (full report published by UNICEF in 2001). The conference aimed at galvanizing international efforts to strengthen preventive mechanisms and to end impunity for those who abuse children in wartime.

Two Optional protocols to the CRC adopted by the GA (May) on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography, (entering into force in January 2002) and on the involvement of children in armed conflict (entering into force in February 2002).

UN Convention against Transnational Crime adopted by Millennium Assembly, along with optional protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

4 Security Council resolutions on children and women in armed conflict.

Beijing +5 takes place at UN HQ in New York (5-9 June 2000) to review and assess progress made in the implementation of the Platform of Action of the Fourth World Conference for Women (Beijing 1995). UNICEF takes an active part in review and preparations and promotes 4 key themes for advocacy: gender equality starts early; interdependence of women’s rights and girl’s rights; children’s rights cannot be achieved without girls’ rights; community partnerships for gender equality are needed to end violence and prevent HIV-AIDS

Social Summit (Copenhagen + 5) takes place in Geneva (26 June – 1 July) to assess achievements since Copenhagen and to discuss new initiatives. Participants include close to 2,000 members of delegations from 178 countries; 1,200 partners from 500 NGOs; 420 media members, representatives of 56 inter-governmental organizations and staff of UN system and related bodies. After intensive debates, UN member countries made new commitments to eradicate poverty, address unemployment and promote social integration, adopted a final document on ‘further initiatives for social development’. The meeting included some 150 side events.

Child-Friendly Cities Secretariat established at the UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre in Florence to support creation of a world-wide network of cities committed to fulfil a rights-based agenda for children. This is in direct follow-up to the launch by UNICEF of the Child friendly Cities Initiative (at Habitat II in 1996) as a movement which places the rights of children at the centre of municipal planning.

SAARC declares the decade 2000-2010 the decade of Children’s rights.

Total contributions reached US$1,139 million.
2001 SG Kofi Annan is joint recipient with the UN of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2001 for work on HIV/AIDS that UNICEF shares in.

Conference on Child Poverty convened in London, 26 February, by UK Chancellor, Gordon Brown, and UK Secretary of State for International Development, Clare Short, marking growing trend to integrate development and finance policy. Participants include the World Bank, IMF, UNICEF and UNDP as well as NGOs, faith groups and national governments.

Birth of African Union and New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD): African Union established (March 2001) to replace OAU, becoming operational in July 2002.

Say Yes for Children campaign launched (April 2001) as part of the Global Movement for Children (GMC), with participation of  Nelson Mandela and Graca Machel. The GMC is a coalition of governments, UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, private sector and community groups, families and children dedicated to improving children's lives. One year later, by the time of the Special Session for Children in May 2002, it had collected nearly 95 million pledges from people around the world, making it the largest campaign of its kind, as confirmed by the Guinness Book of World Records. In submitting their pledges, individuals of all ages, from all walks of life, and from over 170 countries affirmed their solidarity with the Global Movement for Children and their commitment to the 10 critical imperatives identified as necessary to ensure a better future for children. The campaign stimulated extensive mobilization around children’s rights at local, national and regional levels. Founding members of the GMC include the Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC); Foundation; PLAN International; Save the Children; UNICEF and World Vision – later expanded to include Care International.

Regional preparatory processes for the Special Session mobilize a wide variety of stakeholders around priority concerns for children and result in a series of regional commitments including: the Kingston Consensus (October 2000) and the Panama Declaration on Children and Adolescents in Latin America and the Caribbean (December 2000); the Beijing Declaration on Commitments for Children in East Asia and the Pacific (May 2001); the Berlin Commitment for children of Europe and Central Asia (May 2001); the Kathmandu Understanding on Investing in Children in South Asia (May 2001) followed by the 11th SAARC Summit Declaration (January 2002); the African Common Position (May 2001; and the Arab Framework for the Rights of the Child (March 2001) and the Arab World Fit for Children (April 2001).

‘Road Map’ towards implementation of the Millennium Declaration developed in response to GA Res 55/162 of 14 December 2001 on Follow-up to the Millennium Summit.

September 11 Bombing of World Trade Centre leads to postponement of Special Session to 8-10 May 2001.

2nd World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, in Yokohoma, Japan (17-20 December) convened as a follow-up to the 1996 World Congress, adopting the Yokohama Global Commitment 2001. UNICEF is active in organizing a series of regional meetings, in collaboration with the co-organizers of the Conference (Government of Japan; ECPAT International; and the NGO Group for the Convention on the Rights of the Child).

UNICEF Medium Term Strategic Plan (MTSP) for the period 2002-2005 approved by the Executive Board. The plan combines a results-based approach to management with a human rights based approach to programming, and outlines five organizational priorities: girls’ education’ integrated early childhood development’ immunization “plus”; fighting HIV/AIDS; and improved protection of children from violence, exploitation, abuse and discrimination.

Total contributions reached US$1,225 million.
2002 Entry into force of the Optional Protocols to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution and child pornography; and on children affected by armed conflict.

Special Session on Children held at UN headquarters in New York (8-10 May) draws unprecedented participation of more than 7,000 people, including 600 children and young people, who present a message to the General Assembly from the Historic Children’s Forum. Participants at the Special Session and its supporting events include broad representation from civil society organizations, the private sector; religious groups; UN and international agencies; and governmental delegations, 69 at summit level. The Session represents a milestone in the burgeoning Global Movement for Children which emphasizes partnerships and leadership at all levels, and resulted in a renewal of commitments to children as articulated in A World Fit for Children. A time-bound plan of action for children is created.

UNICEF and partners get 7.000 schools running in Afghanistan, clearing the way for 3 million children to attend school - one third of them girls.

In Kenya, the largest-ever national immunization effort undertaken in Africa succeeded in immunizing more than 13 million children against measles.

UNICEF helps families and caregivers improve their knowledge and parenting skills in 70 countries. Parents learn about the importance of birth registration - the recording of a baby's name, nationality and other data immediately after birth - to ensure the child's right to an identity and access to social services.

UNICEF supports a massive campaign to promote the use of iodized salt in China - 51 million additional people - including 800,000 newborns - were protected against iodine deficiency disorders, including physical, mental and learning disabilities.

Over 4 million insecticide-treated nets were distributed worldwide to fight malaria, double the number in 2001.

UNICEF supports water, sanitation and hygiene improvement activities in 86 countries.  New water systems are built in Bolivia reaching 10,000 people in remote regions.

Despite extraordinary advances, UNICEF mobilizes to reach the more than 30 million children still unimmunized and the even greater numbers deficient in vitamin A.

'25 by 2005' campaign launched to accelerate progress in 25 countries where girls lag behind boys in enrolment, and where actions will make the greatest impact. UNICEF also distributes gender-sensitive textbooks in 18 countries.

UNICEF focuses on three areas to make the greatest impact in the AIDs epidemic: prevention HIV/AIDs in young people, halting transmission from parent to child and ensuring care, protection and support to children orphaned or made vulnerable by AIDS. UNICEF also supports 'youth-friendly' programmes in which young people taught each other about AIDS prevention in 71 countries, and also helped to improve national policies and laws relating to HIV/AIDS in 26 countries.

To protect children, UNICEF supports creation of protective environment through a network of safeguards: enforced laws and policies, precise data on children, watchful communities, strengthened school programmes, better trained police and judges, life skills taught to children and programmes for recovery and reintegration into society.

UNICEF is active in 160 countries and territories and supported by 37 National Committees.

Total contributions reached US$1,454 million.
2003 Continued to focus efforts to protect children from the effects of war in Iraq.

UNICEF's fallen hero, Chris Klein-Beekman, along with other members of the UN family, loses his life in the August bombing of UN Offices in Baghdad.

To provide the best start in life, UNICEF combines advocacy, social mobilization, research and direct services to improve emergency obstetric care in some 3,400 health facilities in 80 countries. UNICEF has partnered with Columbia University, New York, on Averting Maternal Death and Disability, a project that works with developing countries.

Birth registration increases in 85 countries - up from 75 in 2001. Potable water, sanitation facilities and hygiene education are brought to 91 countries.

US$348 million is spent on vaccines reaching 40 per cent of children in developing countries. Millions are protected from measles, yellow fever, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, tuberculosis, polio and hepatitis B with vaccines that cost a mere 50 cents per child. US$18 million is spent on insecticide-treated mosquito nets.

The African Girls Education Initiative extends to 34 countries, focusing on nations embroiled in conflict or pummeled by HIV/AIDS. '25 by 2005'  intensifies to achieve gender parity through advocacy, funding, problem-solving and partnering with local communities and national officials. Launches 'Go Girls! Education for Every Child', an outreach campaign partnered with Fox Kids. The Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) dedicated the 2003 Women's World Cup to UNICEF and the 'Go Girls' campaign.

UNICEF supports school-based water, sanitation and hygiene projects in 73 countries, helping keep girls in school  who suffer most from lack of facilities.

UNICEF convenes Global Partners Forum on orphans and vulnerable children, gathering representatives from 50 agencies. 36 country offices report that  national strategies for the protection and care of orphans are in place, with another 32 offices crafting such strategies. UNICEF supports AIDS orphans in 38 countries in sub-Saharan Africa alone. Publishes Africa's Orphaned Generations, a comprehensive look at the pandemics catastrophic effect on families. Kinship networks, the backbone of family care, have been destroyed. UNICEF provides support to extended family members, from counselling to paying school fees. UNICEF, UNAIDS and World Conference on Religions for Peace produce a booklet on HIV/AIDS to help religious leaders respond to the pandemic.

To enhance child-protection measures, UNICEF works with faith-based organizations to safeguard orphans and eliminate corporeal punishment. By partnering with NGO's UNICEF works to improve institutional care, dismantle the child sex industry and end hazardous child labour. UNICEF supports governments in creating national standards that conform to international guidelines on the protection of children who are not in the care of their family, including those detention, prison, foster care, residential and institutional care. Governments are also encouraged to develop legal and practical measures for the elimination of trafficking, sexual exploitation, forced or bonded labour and the use of child soldiers. UNICEF is also helping to design, fund and implement interventions and programmes that reduce physical and psychological violence against children.

Child labour also entails trafficking, prostitution, pornography and participation in armed conflict.  UNICEF is at the forefront of exposing these abuses and rallying support to end these crimes. UNICEF develops Guidelines for the Protection of the Rights of Children Victims of Trafficking, which sets standards for protecting child victims.

Supplies valued at US$709 million
excluding freight are procured, a record increase of 32 per cent from 2002.

The value of procurement for the Iraq crisis
exceeded $51 million, an unprecedented amount to be spent on a single emergency in one year.

Change for Good,
an ongoing alliance between UNICEF and the international airline industry, has raised over US$50 million since 1991 by encouraging passengers to donate unused foreign currency to UNICEF.

Total contributions reached $1,688 million.
2004 An estimated 200,000 people across Asia and eastern Africa were left dead or missing and hundreds of thousands more displaced after the devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Indian Ocean on 26 December 2004. Children accounted for more than one-third of the casualties.

UNICEF's responds swiftly based on its long presence in or near all of the affected countries.  Priorities were keeping children alive, caring for those separated from their families, protecting children from exploitation and abuse, and getting children quickly back to school. Designated as the lead UN agency in water and sanitation, child protection and education, UNICEF works closely with partners to ensure service delivery and UNICEF mobilizes its entire global network to do so.

The massive destruction and loss of life required an unprecedented emergency response. A unique international relief effort prevented any major outbreaks of disease and has since provided for the general health and well-being of hundreds of thousands of people. However, 12 months later, tens of thousands of families are still in temporary encampments and the process of rebuilding is just beginning to move from conference rooms and drawing boards to bricks and mortar. Yet every week has brought progress. People have been kept alive and healthy. Families have been reunited. More than 90 per cent of children were back in school within three months. Temporary schools and health centres have been built. And while these basic services have taken shape – often with community consultation – policies and standards are being put in place by national legislatures and local governments. UNICEF country teams across the tsunami zone have played an important role in this enormous undertaking, from delivering immediate relief and ongoing care, to suggesting sensible standards and policies related to children, to actually building supplying schools, health centres, water and sanitation systems, and other facilities to improve the lives of children and families.

As key international deadlines for achieving gender parity in education approach, the '25 by 2005' initiative leads an unprecedented partnership that is tapping into intensive, all-out methods to get more girls in school involving surveys to determine reasons for absenteeism. 115 million children still are not in primary school because of prohibitive school fees, lack of school materials, or need to do housework or fetch water. The initiative supports regional focal points, creates a Global Advisory Committee and develops a work plan and continues to promote child-friendly schools.

2004 educational supply spotlight:
• Procured educational materials valued at $71 million.
• Distributed 11,000 school-in-the-box kits and 8,200 replenishment kits to 32 countries.
• Designed special school-in-the-box kits for the Democratic Republic of the Congo: 46,000 kits for classrooms and 6,800 for teachers.
• Provided assistance for over 5 million students and 17,000 schools in Iraq.

Emergency response to the Darfur, Sudan was halting in 2003 and early 2004 even as the number of displaced grew to more than 2 million. There were also ongoing grave violations of women and children including rape and militia attacks. Many babies born of rape are abandoned. Affected people are unreachable due to insecurity and remote locations.  Activating a new emergency response mechanisms UNICEF was able to better focus on needs of the children.

Psychosocial support, child-friendly spaces, recreation activities are provided. Children separated from parents or caregivers are registered and referred to partners for assistance. 1.4 million people are given access to primary health care. More than 2 million children are vaccinated against measles. Hygiene campaigns arrested outbreaks of diarrhoea and cholera. Save drinking water was ensured for 1.1 million people through borehole drilling and training to repair hand pumps. 30,000 latrines are constructed. 140,000 primary-school-age children resume school. By the end of the year however only 40-60 per cent of the affected population receives essential services.

UNICEF provides emergency medical supplies to local hospitals and psychosocial support to the rehabilitation centre in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russian Federation in the aftermath of the siege of School Number 1 leaving 350 dead, more than half of them children.

Attention to the health of newborns under four-weeks is highlighted in the Integrated Management of Neonatal and Childhood Illnesses (IMNCI). UNICEF's early childhood development work seeks to expand coverage of high-impact health and nutrition programmes to tackle major causes of child deaths, improve care practices and increase levels of birth registration.

Global polio efforts are set back by a major outbreak in 2004 in West and Central Africa brought on by several factors, spreading from Nigeria into Sudan, paralyzing children in 12 previously polio-free countries. Colossal efforts are undertaken to stem the outbreak, to reach every child in 23 countries, and using the media to regain public trust in the oral polio vaccine. Heads of state, ministers and governors throughout the region are actively engaged in advocacy. This networking resulted in the Pan-African Forum on Building Trust for Immunization and Child Survival with Religious and Traditional Leaders and the Media in October in Dakar, Senegal. 511 million doses of the polio vaccine are used.
By October the world's largest synchronize vaccination campaign reaches 80 million children under five in the 23 countries. A second round in November reaches 80 million children.

UNICEF procurement of antiretrovirals for HIV/AIDS and testing and diagnostics materials increases substantially, totalling a value of US$26 million, compared to US$2 million in 2002.

BAM, Islamic Republic of Iran loses 30,000 lives in the 23 December earthquake. UNICEF gets supplies to BAM within 48 hours, including water, medicines, equipment, generators and tents. Helps unit children with kin or next-of-kin. After immediate threats of injury and exposure, illness and disease, dislocation and separation are dealt with, longer-term threats of hopelessness and apathy are eased by providing schooling in inflatable tents and psychosocial counselling. Reconstruction efforts are rooted in the idea of child-friendly cities, an initiative that promotes sustainable, healthy and child-friendly environments.

Natural disasters and man-made crises - floods, multiple hurricanes and political unrest - take a heavy toll on the Caribbean. Children loose homes, schools and access to clean water and sanitation, health and social services. UNICEF put its Core Commitments for Children in Emergencies into action over and over throughout the year.

UNICEF procurement reaches a total value of US$797 million, a 12 per cent increase over 2003.

Total contributions reached $1,978 million.

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