Fast facts

An additional 52 million children

Were enrolled in primary school globally from 1999 to 2008.

Quote of the month

Quality education has the power to transform societies in a single generation, provide children with the protection they need from the hazards of poverty, labour exploitation and disease, and given them the knowledge, skills, and confidence to reach their full potential.

Audrey Hepburn, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in 1988–1993

Questions and answers

  • Do you have an internship programme? If so, how can I apply?

    The UNICEF Internship Programme offers eligible/qualified students the opportunity to acquire direct practical experience in UNICEF’s work under the direct supervision of experienced staff, both at headquarters and country offices.

    To be an intern at UNICEF, you must:

    - Be currently enrolled as a graduate or post-graduate student in a field related to UNICEF’s interests. You must be enrolled during the full duration of the proposed internship period. Undergraduates are currently not accepted;

    - Be fluent in English and one other UNICEF working language, for instance French, Spanish, Arabic, Russian or Chinese;

    - Have excellent academic performance, as demonstrated by recent university or institution records;

    - Have your internship application supported by your university or related institution. The minimal requirement is a letter from one of your professors supporting your application. This is only needed when an internship assignment has been offered to you;

    - Have a demonstrated interest in the field of international development, particularly in the areas prioritised by UNICEF;

    - Have the ability to adapt to and work in a multi-cultural setting;

    - Have a strong commitment to the values and principles of the UN and UNICEF’s mission, its guiding principles, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    Additional consideration will be given for any past work experiences. Further information can be found at:

  • What does the acronym UNICEF stand for?
    UNICEF was established on 11 December 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China. Its full name was the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund. In 1950, its mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953, when its name was shortened to the United Nations Children's Fund. However, UNICEF retained its original acronym.
  • Where does UNICEF operate and where is it based?
    UNICEF's work is carried out in 191 countries through country programmes and National Committees. Some 88 per cent of the organization's posts are located in the field. There are eight regional offices and country offices worldwide, as well as a research centre in Florence, a supply operation in Copenhagen and offices in Tokyo and Brussels. UNICEF headquarters are in New York.
  • What is the link between UNICEF and the UN?
    UNICEF was established by the United Nations on 11 December 1946 as a temporary fund to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and Asia. In 1950, UNICEF’s mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and mothers in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953. Today, UNICEF is the only organization in the UN system entirely dedicated to realizing the rights of children throughout the world to survival, development, protection and participation. It receives its mandate from the United Nations General Assembly; however, its budget is independent of the UN as a whole. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions from governments, foundations, corporations, businesses and individuals.
  • Who gives UNICEF its funding and how much?
    UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. In 2011, UNICEF raised more than 3,600  billion dollars for its programmes around the world.
  • How does UNICEF raise funds from the private sector?
    UNICEF has 37 National Committees that serve as its advocacy and fundraising arms in industrialized nations and territories and raised 29 % of UNICEF resources in 2010 (including in private sector contributions). The National Committees run fundraisers, organize events, maintain information databases, host workshops, solicit donations through direct mailing, and sell greeting cards, all with the intent of raising the awareness of people to the challenges facing children and women in developing countries. UNICEF has several partnerships that also facilitate fundraising. Starwood Hotels and Resorts, IKEA Foundation and Football Club Barcelona are some of the companies and organizations that help UNICEF raise money.
  • How does UNICEF ensure that its funds are used properly?

    UNICEF field offices are regularly subject to both internal and external audits. Internal audits are conducted by UNICEF’s Office of Internal Audit, which reports directly to the Executive Director. The Institute of Internal Auditors, which sets professional standards for US internal auditors, conducted a quality assurance review and noted that UNICEF’s Office of Internal Audit meets the standards for the practice of internal auditing. External audits of UNICEF field offices are conducted by a team of auditors who have been elected by the United Nations General Assembly from among the supreme audit institutions of member states. Audit Reports of the UN Board of Auditors are public, being tabled in the UN General Assembly.

    In addition, UNICEF has a financial management tracking system that monitors all income and expenditures at the country level. UNICEF disburses cash to local counterparts for agreed activities. UNICEF funds are normally advanced to cover three months’ needs at a time. Further advances only take place if the previous advance has been satisfactorily accounted for. Contracts to carry out specific tasks have to undergo a rigorous screening and selection process by an in-house Contract Review Committee. Depending on the service being rendered, there may also be a competitive bidding process under transparent selection procedures. All sourcing of supplies and equipment for UNICEF supported projects is handled by UNICEF under a strictly controlled and fully transparent procurement process. Delivery of all procured supplies is monitored by UNICEF staff all the way to their delivery points.

  • How can I get a job with UNICEF?

    UNICEF is always looking for highly qualified and widely experienced development professionals to join its team. If you are interested in applying for any of the current UNICEF job vacancies please visit our «Jobs» page.

  • Can UNICEF assist me to obtain support for my child’s major medical expenses?
    We deeply regret that your child is suffering from a health problem. Unfortunately, UNICEF is not in a position to provide assistance for individual children requiring medical or other forms of assistance. We work with our partners to develop services and support for problems affecting a large cross-section of the child population; hence, we are not set up nor are we funded to handle such cases.