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The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF works all over the world for the benefit of girls and boys. UNICEF works to promote respect for children’s rights, meet their basic needs and improve their opportunities.
Despite enormous progress, millions of children around the world are still unable to attend school or suffer from malnutrition.
UNICEF’s main mission is therefore to promote respect for the rights enshrined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It works to ensure that all girls and boys have the opportunity to survive, grow and develop to their full potential without discrimination or favour. UNICEF works to create favourable conditions for the development of children and is particularly concerned with their protection in conflict and emergency situations.
Considerable progress has been made over the last two decades. Under-five mortality has been reduced from 12.7 million to around 6 million deaths per year. The proportion of malnourished children has been halved. The net schooling rate at the primary level in developing countries reached 92% in 2016 and gender parity in primary school classes has been improving. However, a considerable proportion of disadvantaged children did not benefit from these significant improvements. The positive results of countries that have achieved their national targets mask the large disparities that still exist. Prolonged humanitarian crises also continue to hinder the development of some 30 million girls and boys.
UNICEF’s strategic plan for 2018-2021 aims to achieve concrete results for children, particularly the most disadvantaged girls and boys, by breaking the vicious cycle of inequality.
Through its activities, UNICEF has made a decisive contribution to improving the legal and regulatory framework in favour of children. In 2017, the Humanitarian Organization achieved the following results:
- over 78.6 million children were vaccinated against measles (+54% compared to 2013) and 150,000 children with HIV were treated with antiretroviral treatment;
- 32.7 million children had access to improved drinking water sources (up 42% from 2014);
- 12.5 million children received educational materials (+31% compared to 2014).