Left: In about 1950, a young boy holds a blanket supplied by UNICEF in the Greek town of Castoria.
Right: Generations later in 2015, Lamar joyfully squeezes a blanket in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. But her beaming smile hides a story few of us could imagine. The four-year-old girl had lived her entire life in the Syrian conflict and lost everything when her family's home was burned to the ground. UNICEF met Lamar while she was on the road with her mum, making the gruelling, two-month journey to be with her dad in Germany. They stopped at UNICEF’s 'child-friendly space' for some rest and support on a hot day, and said one thing would give them the courage to keep going: the hope of reuniting their family and starting life again in peace.
Now more than ever
From the ashes of World War II to the global refugee crisis today, UNICEF has never given up on children in crisis.
UNICEF supporters can be proud of what we’ve achieved together in the last 70 years. Every child saved from disease or malnourishment, every girl learning in school and every family escaping crushing poverty is a victory worth celebrating.
We simply could not have done these things without our donors. UNICEF receives no funding from the United Nations so our work has been possible through generous donations.
And still, too many children are missing out on progress. They are being left behind because of their gender, race, religion, ethnic group or disability; because they live in poverty or in hard-to-reach communities; or simply because they are children.
If we don’t act now, millions of children under five will continue to die from mostly preventable causes, millions of children will miss out on their education and hundreds of millions will continue to live in poverty.
And for some children it is even worse. Children are targets of war. They are at risk of violence, abuse and exploitation. Nearly 50 million children have been uprooted – more than half of them driven from their homes by conflicts.
The hope of the world rests in the coming generations. How can we expect children to learn to respect the rights of others if their own rights are violated? How will they view the world and their responsibility to it?
UNICEF’s work for the most disadvantaged, excluded and vulnerable children has never been more relevant, nor more urgent.
Seventy years on, we are working harder than ever to give a fair chance for every child. We look ahead, with hope and determination, to a better future for all the world’s children.