Culture of Peace to drive social change

UNICEF and the EU

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination took place in a child’s life. Thus, the international community is faced with increasingly complex humanitarian crises, working in emergencies and humanitarian contexts, both natural and man-made. Moreover the National Committees for UNICEF, work with UNICEF to advocate, educate and raise money for the critical actions that improve children’s lives, and they have a presence in 36 countries.

In emergencies UNICEF supports direct humanitarian action, emergency programmes and policies throughout all its divisions and offices, but concentrates coordination within the Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) based in New York and Geneva. EMOPS coordinates headquarters support to country and regional offices in terms of staffing, funding, donor relations, inter-agency issues or technical guidance. In addition, UNICEF’s Operations Centre (OPSCEN) is a 24-hour, 7 days-a-week, information gathering and dissemination hub within EMOPS.

As a partner for children, the European Union is committed to the Millennium Development Goals and to eradicating poverty by 2015. As the world’s largest donor, the EU provides more than half of total aid to developing countries. So, The European Union development cooperation supports services crucial to children’s rights, such as health, education, and social protection, as well as combating discrimination, child labour and human trafficking. To achieve these objectives, UNICEF and the EU work with other Partners for Children around the world.

Functionally, the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office ensures that development assistance is delivered to those who need it worldwide, and the Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) works closely with UNICEF, and is one of its top donors. Additionally, the Child Rights Toolkit developed by UNICEF and the European Union offers a set of tools and practical guidance on how children’s rights and initiatives to promote the well-being of all children can be effectively integrated and applied across programs in development assistance.

Sources of information:

UNICEF in Emergencies & Humanitarian Action

UNICEF & European Union

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.