Formerly known as United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund is special program of UN devoted to aiding national efforts to improve the health, nutrition, education, and general welfare of children.
It was created in 1946 to provide relief to children in countries devastated by World War II.
It is headquartered in New York City.
After 1950, it directed its efforts toward general programs for improvement of children’s welfare, particularly in less-developed countries and various emergency situations.
Its broader mission was reflected in present name adopted in 1953.
It was awarded Nobel Prize for Peace in 1965.
Since 1996 UNICEF programs have been guided by Convention on Rights of the Child (1989), which affirms right of all children to enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health.
Much of UNICEF’s efforts are concentrated in areas in which relatively small expenditures, but have significant impact on lives of the most disadvantaged children, such as the prevention and treatment of disease.
Its activities are financed by both government and private contributions.
It supports immunization programs for childhood diseases and programs to prevent spread of HIV/AIDS.
It also provides funding for health services, educational facilities and other welfare services.