Over the past six months that I served as a Global Citizenship Fellow for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in Chicago, I have met many students eager to take action on complex global issues. This month, I joined nearly 400 Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from around the world at the 2012 Girls’ World Forum in Chicago who had gathered to mobilize around the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 1, 3 and 7. Girl Scouts and Girl Guides from more than 80 countries came together with a common goal—to take action on three of the most prominent global issues of our time: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, promote gender equality and empower women, and ensure environmental sustainability.
Category Archives for "Child Survival"
One year ago, a humanitarian crisis was taking place in the Horn of Africa. Two million children were at the risk of dying of starvation, and on July 20, 2011 the United Nations declared famine in parts of Somalia. Thanks to the generous support from donors and sponsors, 1 million children have been treated for malnutrition in the region.
On this anniversary we wanted to go beyond just the numbers and get a more personal perspective on the situation. So I sat down with Lisa Szarkowski, Vice President of Public Advocacy and Strategic Communications for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, who had been in the region during the crisis. Lisa told me some very moving stories of the
on-ground situation and the work that UNICEF does.
I have just returned to New York after attending three inspiring Kiwanis family conventions—the Kiwanis International (KI) and Circle K International conventions, held in New Orleans, Louisiana, and the Key Club International convention, held in Orlando, Florida. As you may already know, Kiwanis and their family of clubs have joined UNICEF and partners in the global fight to eliminate maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT). It was exciting to see that The Eliminate Project: Kiwanis eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus was front and center at all of the conventions. The passion and commitment from every level of the Kiwanis family to eliminate MNT was apparent and took many forms. Kiwanis members who had attended field visits with UNICEF served on panels and spoke about their experiences. They highlighted the urgency of raising funds: time is ticking to meet the global MNT elimination goal of 2015.
I recently had the opportunity to organize a roundtable discussion on the emergency in the Sahel region of Africa. The event, co-hosted by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF and the Corporate Council on Africa, provided corporate participants an overview of the crisis and the impact of the drought and malnutrition on the region. Guillaume Sauval, Emergency Specialist at UNICEF’s Office of Emergency Programs, explained that the causes of hunger and malnutrition in the region are deeply rooted, with chronic underdevelopment and multiple droughts in recent years leaving the population vulnerable, even to small shocks.
UNICEF is keenly aware of the importance of transparency and accountability to all who support its lifesaving work for children. In that spirit, UNICEF’s Executive Board recently approved a proposal to make publicly available on UNICEF’s website all internal audits published after September 30, 2012. Although UNICEF already has been providing internal audits to UN Member States upon request since 2009, these audits have not been available to the public. Now UNICEF will create a special “accountability and transparency” section at its site for the internal audit reports.
Over these past few weeks we have been gathering momentum as we continue our work towards the goal to end the deaths of children from preventable causes. One example of the enormous potential we have for saving children’s lives is in the prevention of pneumonia and diarrhea—the two primary killers of children under five. UNICEF recently released a report outlining effective prevention and treatment strategies for both illnesses. Here are some of the strategies UNICEF uses to save lives.