The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) was founded after World War II to bring aid and support to children at risk or in need, and it is the only United Nations (UN) agency devoted exclusively to the needs of the world’s children. In some instances, particularly in conflict zones, UNICEF is the sole provider of education and health and nutrition services. The United States is proud to be UNICEF’s largest contributor and support the organization’s important work.
UNICEF, is well known by the American people due to its work around the world and its memorable holiday cards and other fundraising products. However, the United States’ role in helping UNICEF advance the interests and well-being of children around the world is often overlooked.
The U.S. Special Representative to the UNICEF Executive Board, Jim Morris, is playing an active role to ensure that American tax dollars are spent making a difference in the lives of children, especially those at risk of violence and poverty. The Special Representative recently traveled to Mumbai, India to learn more about UNICEF’s work there. With a population of over 20 million, Mumbai is the capital of the Indian state of Maharashtra, one of the most densely populated regions in India. UNICEF has 13 field offices in India, covering 17 of the country’s 29 states. As the only inter-governmental organization with a permanent presence in the state, UNICEF Mumbai works closely with both government and technical partners to address the population’s needs, especially building a solid foundation in education, reducing child and maternal mortality, and preventing child and adolescent malnutrition.
Through a series of site visits, meetings with officials, and events, Mr. Morris witnessed firsthand how UNICEF Mumbai is improving the lives of children. He visited hospitals and wellness education centers, where he voiced U.S. support for UNICEF’s work and praised the tireless efforts of staff, describing them as “top-notch.” He also participated in the official launch of a nutrition habilitation center, a public-private sector project between the Government of India, UNICEF, and the Wadia Group in India.
Special Representative Morris’ trip to India demonstrates the United States deep commitment to the important work UNICEF is doing to advance the welfare of children worldwide.” The United States cherishes its strong relationship with UNICEF, and we are proud of its achievements in improving children’s lives around the world. Our support for the critical work of UNICEF and its staff is just one of many ways the United States works with international partners to make the world safer.
About the Author: Brandon Jackson serves in the Bureau for International Organization Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.