Today, nearly 500 UNICEF USA supporters from 39 states join forces on Capitol Hill to stand up for vulnerable children around the world. In close to 250 Congressional meetings, advocates will urge their elected officials to maintain support for UNICEF funding — funding that ensures UNICEF can continue its lifesaving programs for children. The U.S. Government's annual contribution to UNICEF enables the organization to respond quickly to emergencies, finance innovation and invest in longterm solutions for children.
U.S. support for UNICEF has never been more urgently needed
U.S. support for UNICEF has never been more urgently needed: One in four children live in a country affected by conflict and crisis. From the Central African Republic to South Sudan, from Syria to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, attacks on children continue unabated. Nearly 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes due to violence, poverty or natural disasters. UNICEF is dedicated to saving and improving the lives of children in crises by providing lifesaving aid and longterm support.
UNICEF has helped save more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 190 countries and territories, UNICEF provides health care and immunizations; safe, clean water and sanitation; education; nutrition; child protection and more.
A child in need knows no politics
UNICEF USA enlists supporters from across the nation to help give voice to children across the globe. Now, as Congress weighs budget priorities for Fiscal Year 2020, more UNICEF USA supporters than ever before are uniting in the halls of Congress in Washington, D.C. to ask that children be put first in U.S. Government funding and policy decisions. According to Mark Engman, UNICEF USA's Managing Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, "Congress has a tough job, and needs to hear that their constituents care about maintaining the U.S. Government's commitment of $132.5 million to UNICEF's core resources."
America's commitment to children
Since UNICEF's founding in 1946, the U.S. Government, the American people and UNICEF have maintained a strong partnership to save children's lives. Strong, bipartisan Congressional support for UNICEF and child survival has made a difference: The annual number of children dying before age 5 from preventable causes has fallen 62 percent from 1990 to 2017. But we still have a long way to go. Every single day, 15,000 children under 5 die from mostly preventable causes; half of them are babies less than a week old.
Colorado advocate and military veteran Jason Fraught believes in this bipartisan support for child survival and for UNICEF. After Advocacy Day 2018, he reflected on his experience: "Our focus should be on those that truly need our help and to act as if the whole world is watching. Only then can we ... become the country that inspires others to follow in our stead."
Violence against children must never become 'the new normal'
Every five minutes, a child dies as a result of violence, but violence against children must never become 'the new normal.' On Advocacy Day 2019, UNICEF USA supporters will also unite in support of bipartisan efforts to address violence against children globally.
UNICEF USA applauds the vast array of constituents across the country who dedicate their time, resources and voices to children, helping to ensure they receive the support they need to survive and thrive. The fact that the welfare of the world's children continues to rise above parties and politics gives us hope for the future and for a world, no matter what its state, that will continue to put children first.
As Congress determines funding for Fiscal Year 2020, tell your legislators to put children first by continuing to support UNICEF's lifesaving work.
Photo at top: Children clown around while collecting water at a pumping and water distribution center built by UNICEF near Kananga, Kasai-Occidental province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Violence in the DRC has pushed more than 2.1 million people from their homes; UNICEF is providing urgently needed help. © UNICEF/UN0271269/Tremeau