The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) undertakes programs that implement the UN Convention of the Rights of the Child of 1989. UNICEF’s priority work areas of justice and equality have been set out in its strategic plan for 2014-2017. The most severely disadvantaged children are meant to benefit from the focus on seven main areas of interest: health, HIV/AIDS, nutrition, education, water and sanitation, protection from exploitation and violence, and poverty eradication. Human rights, gender equality and the environment act as cross-cutting themes in all fields of importance to children.
Germany supports UNICEF financially with yearly voluntary contributions of 6.5 Million Euro. In addition, the Federal Government assists UNICEF by providing project-related resources for development, humanitarian and human rights projects, democracy-building measures or crisis prevention.
UNICEF maintains 36 National Committees, active in Germany and other industrialized countries, to support its work in raising funds and in advocacy. Among these, the German branch in Cologne has been one of the committees to collect the most donations. In 2012, the German committee was ranked third behind Japan and France after having collected 88.89 million US dollars for UNICEF programs.
After stints in 2011 and 2012, Germany is once again a member of UNICEF’s Executive Board which comprises 36 member states. In June 2011, the Executive Board decided to refocus UNICEF’s work on “Equity”- a term including both equality and justice. Additional attention will be given to particularly disadvantaged regions and groups including children in armed conflicts, those infected with HIV, and children living in extreme poverty. This new approach –fully supported by the German Government-should make the organization increasingly more efficient with the share of administrative costs expected to decrease from 14.1 to 11.9 percent.
UNICEF’s integrated budget, based on projected income, for the 4-year period of 2014-2017 equals 17.5 billion USD. The Executive Director of UNICEF is Anthony Lake of the United States who has held this position since 2010.