Recently, Vidhya Ganesh, UNICEF Afghanistan’s Deputy Representative, visited UNICEF headquarters in New York. Jennifer Lee spoke with her about UNICEF’s work in Afghanistan, which emphasizes polio eradication, child survival, and giving girls equal access to education.
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In Argentina, the annual event “Un Sol Para los Chicos” is a highly recognized telethon benefiting UNICEF programs in the country. Held every August during “El Dia de los Niños,” the national day dedicated to children, the event is broadcast nationally in conjunction with the El Trece network. The recent record-breaking event raised an astounding AR$14,309,929. The festivities included performances and appearances by well-known celebrities and special guests, in addition to live games and raffles.
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.
Recently I attended a presentation by Eileen Munro, a professor of Social Policy at the London School of Economics and an expert on child protective services. As child protection is a major focus area of UNICEF’s work it was very interesting to hear what Munro had to say about systems of child protection and how they could be improved. UNICEF helps protect children from trafficking, exploitation, violence, abuse and forced labor in countries around the world. And while Munro studied child protection in the U.K., what she found could be applied everywhere. Here are a few highlights from her talk.
On Friday, February 24, the U.S. Fund for UNICEF launched The UNICEF Experience at The Goss-Michael Foundation in Dallas, Texas. A truly unique event, the UNICEF Experience showcased UNICEF’s lifesaving work through interactive exhibits, allowing guests to experience what vulnerable children in developing countries face just to survive. The UNICEF Experience was a special opportunity to make a difference in the lives of the world’s children, all without leaving Dallas.