From the Forward: In 2016 – the first year of implementation for the Agenda 2030 – UNICEF adopted a bold motto: a fair chance for every child. Success in reaching the SDGs depends on leadership and accountability from government, business and civil society working in partnership to address sustainable development challenges. With the help of our champion Member States in the Group of Friends for Children and private sector partners, important advocacy opportunities for children were seized – for example, raising awareness about the global initiative on the World’s Largest Lesson and integrating the SDGs into schools, highlighting the importance of disaggregated data to ensure we capture the most marginalized children, and engaging in the preparatory process for the Global Compact to protect children on the move.
Meeting the SDGs by 2030 will require everyone pulling together, including through financing of programmes and initiatives that can drive progress across the goals. UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Without income, UNICEF cannot deliver on its mandate to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs, and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. At UNICEF, we recognize that partners entrust us with their investments towards those ends and we want to take the opportunity to thank each and every one.
Your trust in us is echoed through the results we achieved this past year, especially for the children in the most difficult of situations -- noted in the Compendium of Resource Partner Contributions. Reinforced partnership with our donors helped UNICEF treat more than 237,000 children under five for Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in Yemen. “We will never forget the assistance that UNICEF provided us in these difficult times that we were going through. They came to our aid at a time when everyone else had abandoned us,” said Aisha, a woman in Yemen struggling to feed her four children. UNICEF also helped more than 19,000 vulnerable Syrian refugee families in Egypt, Jordan, and Iraq
with sustained cash assistance; gave out Rapid Response Mechanism kits containing drinking water, hygiene products and ready-to-eat rations to nearly 1.3 million people in Iraq newly displaced by conflict; and provided nearly 96,000 children with psychosocial support after they landed in the West Balkans and Greece during the refugee and migrant crisis.
Our mandate and the trust of our partners also demand that we adhere to the highest performance management standards and continually improve our operation. In addition to supporting the development of the significant and far-reaching commitments of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review – and those deliberated around the 2016 World Humanitarian Summit – UNICEF engaged with the Multilateral Organization Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN). The assessment recognized UNICEF as “a mature and confident organisation whose systems, processes and behaviours are fit for purpose according to its mandate and mission, and has a strong awareness of its own comparative advantages.” In early 2016, UNICEF ranked third out of 46 evaluated aid entities on the most recent global Aid Transparency Index.
However, this is no time for complacency. Too many children are being denied a childhood. Too many have the future stolen from them. As the next Strategic Plan for 2018-2021 is finalized, UNICEF will strive to make further progress across the board, building on and learning from the lessons and evidence of the past four and, indeed, the past 70 years. We will align results with the policies and priorities to get us there, including raising more flexible and predictable funding. At the end of the day, UNICEF is a global partnership for children in need, made up of our staff, the partners we work with around the world and the supporters that fund our efforts. It is only by working together, side by side, that we can and will realize a fair chance for every child.