Each year on December 11th, the world celebrates the UNICEF Birthday commemorating the day it was created in 1946.
Headquartered in New York City, UNICEF is a member of the United Nations Development Group and its Executive Committee. Since its founding, UNICEF has provided humanitarian and developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries. Around the world, UNICEF responds when emergencies arise. Their mission provides services in war-torn countries, during the aftermath of natural disasters, and when contagious diseases break out.
UNICEF also saves children’s lives by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, and nutrition. Along with saving children’s lives, UNICEF defends the rights of children. The humanitarian organization believes children have the following rights:
- grow up in a safe and inclusive environment.
- survive and thrive
- fulfill their potential
UNICEF currently works in over 190 countries and territories. The organization was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965. UNICEF also received the Indira Gandhi Prize in 1989 and the Prince of Asturias Award of Concord in 2006.
The United Nations General Assembly created UNICEF on December 11, 1946. Initially, UNICEF provided emergency assistance to children devastated by WWII. Ludwik Rajchman, a Polish bacteriologist, is regarded as the founder of UNICEF. He served as the organization’s first chairman until 1950. In 1953, UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations System. While the name was shorted from the original United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, it continues to be known by the popular acronym based on the previous title.