International Organizations: United Nations Children’s Fund

History: UNICEF was established on December 11th, 1946 by the United Nations to meet the emergency needs of children in post-war Europe and China. In 1950, its mandate was broadened to address the long-term needs of children and women in developing countries everywhere. UNICEF became a permanent part of the United Nations system in 1953.

Mission: Defend children’s rights, help meet their basic needs, ensure their survival and increase their opportunities to flourish. Rally political will to invest in the well-being of children.
Respond to emergencies and strengthen the ability of children and their families to handle crises, including armed conflict, natural disasters and HIV/aids. Assist countries in transition to protect the rights of young people and to provide vital services to children and their families. Advance equal rights for boys and girls and encourage their full participation in the development of their communities. Work towards the human development goals adopted by the world community and the peace, justice and social progress enshrined in the charter of the United Nations.

Headquarters: UNICEF House, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, New York 10017

Where they work: UNICEF works in 155 countries around the world. About 88% of the organization’s approximately 7,200 posts are located in the field. There are eight regional offices and 126 country offices worldwide, as well as a research center in Florence, a supply operation in Copenhagen, and offices in Tokyo and Brussels.

Mandate: The UNICEF mandate in emergencies is to protect the rights of children and women, ensure the rigorous application of international standards for their assistance and protection, and provide urgent assistance to meet their needs.

Funded: In 2001, 64% of UNICEF income came from governments. A large amount of the remaining 36% came from funds raised by National Committees for UNICEF and from the sale of greeting cards and products. UNICEF National Committees are non-governmental organizations that promote children’s rights, raise funds, sell UNICEF greeting cards and products, create key partnerships and provide other invaluable support.

Governance: UNICEF is governed by a 36-member Executive Board made up of government representatives. They establish policies, approve programs and decide on administrative and financial plans and budgets. Members are elected by the United Nations Economic and Social Council, usually for three year terms.


Facts: UNICEF was awarded the 1965 Noble Peace Prize “for the promotion of brotherhood among nations.”

University of Hawaii at Manoa; Center of Excellence in DMHA; ICRC

Contact Information

Disaster Management & Humanitarian Assistance
University of Hawai'i at Manoa
2424 Maile Way, Saunders Hall 118
Honolulu, HI 96822