Who we are

UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund, a leading global humanitarian and development agency that works to uphold the rights of every child. Established in 1946 in the aftermath of World War II, we now operate in more than 190 countries and territories. Our work aims to help all children — especially the most disadvantaged and marginalised— to lead safe, healthy lives and realise their full potential.

From the most remote island communities to the heart of war-torn conflict zones, every child has rights to survival, education, health care, shelter, good nutrition, safe water and protection from war and disaster. These universal rights are guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child but they are often threatened by poverty, violence and discrimination.

That’s why UNICEF stands up as a global champion for children’s rights. We protect and support millions of children around the world with our development programs, advocacy and rapid response during humanitarian emergencies. Here at home, UNICEF Australia raises funds to finance life-changing programs for children in some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities. We also work with governments and civil society partners to protect and advance children’s rights.


“There are no enemy children.”~ UNICEF’s first Executive Director, Maurice Pate

During his 18 years as Executive Director, Maurice Pate sought consensus that the needs of children transcend politics, in every situation.

What we do  


UNICEF works around the globe to ensure every child has safe water, food, health care, education and a safe place to grow up.

For more than 70 years, UNICEF has worked to promote and protect children’s rights on a global scale. The UNICEF Australia was formed in 1966 to support that mission.

The scope of our work is expansive and far-reaching. In the political arena, we advocate for the rights of every child in Australia and overseas. When war or natural disaster strikes, we deliver food, health care, safe water and shelter to keep children safe. And in communities living in poverty, UNICEF provides education, nutrition and health care to support long-term development. 
  • ‚ÄčIn 2016, UNICEF reached 3.7 million Syrian children with safe water.

  • In 2016, UNICEF helped immunise more than 85 million children worldwide against lethal measles.

Why support UNICEF?


Your donation to UNICEF will have an immediate and lasting impact in children’s lives.

People often think UNICEF is funded by the United Nations — but we’re not. We fund our life-saving work for children with voluntary donations from everyday people, just like you.

From emergency relief to long-term development solutions, all of our work is funded by the generosity of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. Thanks to regular monthly donations from our growing community of Global Parents in Australia, we’re able to reach more children in need every month.

People donate to UNICEF to have a lasting positive impact in children’s lives. Our supporters are not only kind; they are practical. They want their money to benefit the children who need it most. That’s why people choose UNICEF Australia. For every $1 donated to us in 2017, 63 cents went directly to our programs for children around the world, while 28 cents was reinvested in fundraising to grow more support and just 9 cents was spent on administration — read our Annual Report to see exactly where the money goes.

People trust us because we get things done. UNICEF ensures that more children are vaccinated, educated and protected than any other organisation. We’ve done more to influence laws and policies for children than anyone else. And we know the best ways to reach and protect children in the most remote and dangerous places.

Your donation to UNICEF means a brighter today and tomorrow for the world’s most vulnerable children.

Children have the right to good quality health care, clean water, nutritious food and a clean environment so that they will stay healthy. Richer countries should help poorer countries achieve this.

~ Article 24, UNICEF’s child-friendly version of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child