United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
For Immediate Release
December 11, 2021
Statement by Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield on the 75th Anniversary of the Founding of UNICEF
On this day 75 years ago, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, known as UNICEF, was established to provide immediate relief to children and mothers affected by World War II whose lives and futures were at risk – no matter what role their country had played in the war.
Today, UNICEF works in over 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights, and help them fulfill their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.
UNICEF plays a crucial leadership role in coordinating the UN humanitarian system’s work in health, education, water and sanitation, and nutrition sectors. Throughout the pandemic, UNICEF has helped deliver more than half a billion COVID vaccine doses in 144 countries around the globe as the logistics support agency for COVAX.
The United States government, along with private sector and civil society leaders, has long championed and partnered with UNICEF. American leadership has strengthened the organization at every turn throughout its 75-year existence. We are proud to be UNICEF’s largest annual contributor. And we are extraordinarily proud that my friend Ambassador Catherine Russell has been appointed UNICEF’S Executive Director, following Henrietta Fore’s exceptional tenure.
As we mark this important milestone in UNICEF’s work, the United States remains as steadfast as ever in our shared mission to protect the human rights of every child, everywhere.