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The United Nations Children’s Fund, better known around the world as UNICEF, was created 75 years ago as a part of a concerted effort to provide supplies and assistance to children in the aftermath of World War II. Today, the organization works in more than 190 countries as the UN’s flagship agency dedicated to promoting children’s welfare worldwide. The United States is proud to be UNICEF’s largest annual contributor.

UNICEF plays a critical leadership role coordinating the UN humanitarian system’s work in education, water and sanitation, and nutrition sectors. Throughout the pandemic, UNICEF has helped deliver more than half a billion COVID-19 vaccine doses in 144 countries as the logistics support agency for COVAX. Ambassador Catherine Russell will continue this tradition of excellence in leadership as UNICEF’S Executive Director, following Henrietta Fore’s exceptional accomplishments.

Since UNICEF’s inception, the United States Government, private sector, and civil society have championed and partnered with UNICEF to help achieve its mission to protect children and youth worldwide. American leadership has strengthened the organization at every turn throughout its 75-year existence.

Tomorrow, December 11, please join me in celebrating 75 years of UNICEF’s exemplary advocacy and protection of children and youth across the world.

U.S. Department of State

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