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DFID: New partnership and funding boost for UNICEF

5 September 2006 - Helping to save the lives of children, sending more boys and girls to school and improving their protection and rights received a boost today with the launch of a new partnership between the UK, Sweden and Canada to support the work of UNICEF.

Gareth Thomas, Minister for International Development, launched the new strategy and announced £23 million in funding for UNICEF in 2006. The funding is made up of £19 million to support the core work of the organisation, along with £4 million to strengthen UNICEF’s capacity to respond to emergencies.

Gareth Thomas said, “The UK is committed to creating a world fit for children, promoting and protecting their rights, meeting their basic needs and improving opportunities so that they can reach their full potential.

“The UK, Sweden and Canada have joined together to support the work of UNICEF in delivering results for children. And the UK is committing £23 million this year to help them in their vital work.”

The new strategy “Working together with UNICEF for the World’s Children” is a Joint Institutional Approach (JIA) that will provide targeted support to UNICEF, bring together the three countries’ approaches to promoting the rights of the child and help streamline practices, and reduce costs, when working with UNICEF.

DFID works with UNICEF through a wide variety of projects, including a £75 million partnership in India to improve access to health and education services, and more than £44 million to help support their work for orphans other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS.


Notes for editors

1. The UK was the fourth largest donor to UNICEF, providing $159 million in total in 2005. The UK Government’s collaboration with UNICEF is led by the Department for International Development underpinned by a new strategy paper developed in partnership with the Swedish and Canadian governments, “Canada, Sweden and the UK: A Joint Institutional Approach, Working together with UNICEF for the World’s Children”. The full text of the Joint Institutional Approach can be found at 

2. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child that recognise children’s specific needs as inalienable rights and guarantees those rights under law.

3. UNICEF works in 157 countries, responding directly to each country’s operational environment. UNICEF concentrates on five focus areas: young child survival and development; basic education and gender equality; HIV/AIDS and children; child protection; and policy advocacy and partnerships for children’s rights.

4. Examples of DFID support to UNICEF include:

  • A Strategic Partnership between DFID India and UNICEF directly supporting UNICEF’s country plan with up to £75 million over five years starting 2006/7. This partnership will work to improve the access of poor people to essential services and address social inequality.
  • Under the UK strategy for tackling HIV and AIDS, DFID has committed to providing at least £44 million through UNICEF to support its work to help orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS across the world. As part of this DFID has committed £5 million to UNICEF’s global work leading governments, UN agencies and other partners to respond to the crisis of children affected by HIV/AIDS according to the UN’s adopted strategy, the Framework for the Protection, Care and Support of Orphans and Vulnerable Children Living in a World with HIV and AIDS. In addition there are allocations for specific countries and regions. For example, in Zimbabwe DFID has committed up to £25 million over five years to support UNICEF’s work in addressing the needs of children affected by AIDS in that country, and DFID has committed up to £18m for UNICEF’s work in supporting the implementation of National Action Plans for Children Affected by HIV/AIDS in Eastern and Southern African countries.


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