UNICEF has announced six grants totaling $31.5 million (€24.9 million) from the IKEA Foundation in support of efforts to reach the most marginalized and disadvantaged children and to strengthen its response in emergency and conflict situations.
Awarded to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which was adopted by the United Nations in 1989, five of the grants will fund programs focused on early childhood development, child protection, education, and helping adolescents improve their lives. The grants include $16.1 million to empower adolescents to take responsibility over decisions that affect their lives and communities in Afghanistan, China, India, and Pakistan; nearly $5.5 million in support of family- and community-centered services that improve care for children in Rwanda; $3.75 million to provide early childhood development and education for vulnerable children in China; $2.5 million for efforts to protect children from violence, abuse, exploitation, and unnecessary family separation in Jammu/Kashmir, India; and $1.87 million to improve the welfare of orphans and other vulnerable children in rural Chinese communities. A sixth grant of $1.11 million will enable UNICEF to develop information management tools that bolster its emergency response and monitoring capabilities through better data collection, sharing, analysis, management, and reporting.
According to UNICEF, a child born in 2014 has a much better chance of surviving beyond the age of 5 than a child born twenty-five years ago, and children are much more likely to go to primary school than they were in 1989. What's more, the number of children between the ages of 5 and 17 involved in child labor has fallen by almost a third since 2000.
"UNICEF's partnership with IKEA Foundation has helped advance the rights and improve the lives of children growing up in some of the world’s most difficult places," said UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake. "We are grateful to the foundation and look forward to continuing our work together to reach the children we have not yet reached, and to put equity and children’s rights at the center of an agenda of action for all children."