UNICEF, or United Nations Children’s Fund, was initially launched by the United Nations (UN) to protect children against violence and at the same time provide them with food, clothes, education, protection, security and health care. Basically, they provide humanitarian assistance and development assistance to children worldwide, such as immunization and disease prevention, treatment of HIV-infected children and mothers, improvement of infant and maternal nutrition, improvement of sanitation, promotion of education and provide emergency relief in response to disasters. UNICEF is also considered to be one of the prominent social organizations in the world carrying 192 countries and territories. This organization has activation for over more than 74 years, launching on the 11th December 1946. Thus, in order to praise and celebrate the hard work done towards the betterment of the above-mentioned causes, International UNICEF Day is celebrated every 2nd of December.
Diving into the history of UNICEF, it was initially called the Children’s Emergency Fund, which was launched by the United Nations Relief Rehabilitation Administration in New York on the 11th of December 1946. It was a fund organization intended to offer immediate relief to children and mothers affected by world war II, and later it was in effect during the post-war period as well. From 1950 it worked for the betterment of children and women safety. It was accepted to the United Nations system in the year of 1953. In 1965, UNICEF was even awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and in 1989 the Indira Gandhi Prize, and in 2006 the Princess of Asturias Award for the outstanding service and achievements.
Until now, it plays an important role in the world with numerous supports received by the government and non-government organizations, private individuals as well as other foundations working for social causes. Along with the United Nations, Nepal and other countries have started to raise funds for International UNICEF Day, called Trick or Treat. Furthermore, it should be noted that UNICEF, during the prevailing COVID- 19 pandemic, plays a vital role in the protection of women and children and also in motivating them to fight against this disease with safety and attentiveness.
~Written by: Rtr. Dehemi Marasinghe~ | ~Featured image designed by: Rtr. Kavishka Kodithuwakku~