Current Board Members
The United Nations Childrens
in 1946, UNICEF, the United Nations Childrens Fund, is mandated
by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection
of childrens rights, to help meet their basic needs and to
expand their opportunities to reach their full potential.
UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights
of the Child and strives to establish childrens rights as
enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour
UNICEFs main function is to mobilise
political will and material resources to help countries, particularly
developing countries, ensure "first call for children" and to build
their capacity to form appropriate policies and deliver services
for children and their families.
UNICEF gives high priority to country programme
operations. At country level, UNICEF works with other UN agencies,
governments and civil society organisations to lighten childrens
loads through support to community-based services in primary health
care, basic education, and safe water and sanitation. For over a
decade, as part of its mandate to promote child survival, UNICEF
has advocated, mobilised resources and built capacity in government
systems and communities to ensure that children receive basic immunization
services. UNICEF, the worlds largest purchaser of vaccines
for developing countries, is a key partner in global immunization
UNICEF, with world headquarters in New York
and Geneva, maintains programmes in 161 countries, with 86 per cent
of its staff posts located in the field. Its Supply Division, based
in Copenhagen, is responsible for global purchasing, including some
$100 million per year spent on vaccines and safe injection equipment.
The 37 National Committees for UNICEF (http://www.unicef.org/uwwide/natcoms.htm)
mostly in the industrialized world, are nongovernmental organizations
that support UNICEF in advocacy for children and fundraising.
UNICEFs role in GAVI
In the 1980s, UNICEF was a major force behind
the drive for Universal Child Immunisation, which saw 80 per cent
of the worlds children immunized against the six vaccine-preventable
diseases. Throughout the 1990s, UNICEFs work in immunization
was guided by the commitments made at the 1990 World Summit for
Children and the principles of the Convention for the Rights of
the Child. Through its long experience, UNICEF has gained expertise
and skills in ensuring that immunization is on the political agenda
of governments; in helping communities and families to understand
the importance of preventive health and immunization, in particular;
and in vaccine procurement.
UNICEF is a partner in the Global Alliance for
Vaccines and Immunization. Ms. Carol Bellamy, Executive Director
of UNICEF, is an ex-officio member of the GAVI Board. Ms. Bellamy
will chair the GAVI Board for a two-year term starting in late 2001.
UNICEF chairs the GAVI Task Force on Advocacy, which is responsible
for coordinating global advocacy and communications efforts of the
GAVI partners. UNICEF also manages the GAVI Trust Fund, which disperses
collective funds for activities approved by the GAVI Board.
For more information about UNICEF or immunization,