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What UNICEF Stands For
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is a program dedicated to providing developmental assistance to children and mothers in developing countries as well as supporting humanitarian efforts globally. UNICEF operates in over 190 countries in an effort to protect and save children’s lives.

How UNICEF Works

UNICEF receives its funding through donations from government entities around the globe as well as private donors. Of these funds, government entities are responsible for two-thirds of the organization’s resources. UNICEF stands for transparency. It reports that of the donations it receives, nearly 92 percent is distributed to relief programs.

UNICEF was founded in 1946 in an effort to help war-torn children in the many countries affected by World War II. In 1953, UNICEF dropped the words International and Emergency from its title in an effort to extend its reach to children in need in developing countries.

What UNICEF Stands For

Today, in cooperation with governments and NGOs, UNICEF stands for providing health care to children, promoting children’s rights and providing immunizations, adequate nutrition, safe food and water as well as basic education. UNICEF’s ultimate goal is to ensure that no child ever goes hungry, thirsty, dies prematurely or is bought, sold or otherwise victimized. In order to achieve this, UNICEF works with families in need and helps ensure adoption policies are in accordance with the best and most ethical practices today.

UNICEF stands for transparency in the nonprofit sector. It receives high praises from many watchdogs for its monetary transparency policies. Of every dollar spent, 90 cents go to children’s efforts, seven cents go toward fundraising efforts and three cents go toward overhead and administrative costs. As well as being transparent, UNICEF excels at working with other agencies and private businesses to fight for children’s rights.

UNICEF’s Partnership with Google

UNICEF works with companies like Google to respond to emergencies such as earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters. Most recently, UNICEF has worked with Google to help aid children and families affected by hurricanes in Puerto Rico and the Caribbean.

As well as emergency aid, UNICEF and Google collaborate to support the annual flu shot campaign provided by UNICEF. This collaboration has raised over $600,000 toward UNICEF’s immunization program.

In 2016, Google helped UNICEF by donating $1 million to help fight the spread of the Zika virus. Google worked with UNICEF to build a program which tracked the anticipated outbreak of the virus and developed technology that is applicable to not only the Zika virus but other virus outbreaks in the future. With Google’s help, UNICEF helped prevent the spread of the Zika virus and saved the lives of many children and families around the world.

UNICEF is a program with the noble intentions of promoting children’s health and happiness around the globe. Many of the programs provided by UNICEF have helped greatly in reducing the abuse of children in over 190 countries. With its clear mission of transparency, UNICEF succeeds in providing aid to children and families in need. With the help of NGOs and companies like Google, UNICEF is set to continue its story of success in the future.

– Dalton Westfall

Photo: Flickr

How to Help the Extreme Poor in IndiaIndia is the second most populous country in the world and hosts one-third of the world’s extreme poor. It has the third highest number of people living with and dying from HIV/AIDS, and 60.4 percent of its population lives with unimproved sanitation facility access, mostly affecting Indians living in rural communities. Here are four ways to help the extreme poor in India.

Donate
According to the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), 47 percent of Indian girls are married by the age of 18. While it is illegal for girls in India to marry before the age of 18, many still do because their families live in poverty.

One method to combat child marriage is education. The non-profit Girls Not Brides, for example, is currently fundraising for Shadhika, an organization that pays tuition for at-risk Indian girls. Right now, they are $8,568 away from a $30,000 goal.

Donations to this cause enable more Indian girls living in extreme poverty to attend school and avoid underage marriage. By donating to this and other similar organizations, those who are not currently in India can still assist those in poverty.

Contact Congress
For 2017, the U.S. government plans to spend $49.5 million of foreign aid on health in India.  Half of this aid will be allocated for HIV/AIDS. To ensure the effectiveness of this aid, Congress is currently in the process of potentially passing the Global Health Innovation Act (H.R. 1660).

This act requires the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to give an annual report to Congress describing the “development and use of global health innovations” in their work.

Emailing or calling elected representatives will support this bill on top of promoting the use of health innovation to achieve an HIV/AIDS-free generation. Representatives need to know that their constituents are interested in a goal in order for it to get the attention it deserves.

Shop
Shopping is another way to help the extreme poor in India. Currently, about ten million Indian women are commercial sex workers–the Anchal Project wants to change that.

The Anchal Project employs Indian women, 85 percent of whom were once in the sex trade, to create and make original designs for ecologically sound clothing and fabrics (mainly scarves).

Shopping here will support women in their goal of earning full-time employment and leading change in their families and communities, in effect supporting the extreme poor in working their way out of poverty.

Stay Informed
As most of the world’s poor live in India, the country is a great focus for The Borgen Project and other organizations working to fight poverty. Read up on current struggles and efforts to improve conditions for the poor in India to better learn how you can keep helping in the future.

While people are often told that they as an individual can change the world, it often seems that the change desired is too arduous to achieve. Nevertheless, a community of people can come together to end global poverty and help the extreme poor in India.

Sean Newhouse

Photo: Flickr