United Nations

United Nations Children's Fund

Children in a mother-child facility in Burundi

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has been working for the good of the children of the world since 1946. It acts on the basis of the 1989 UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which obliges member states to protect the survival of children, to foster their de­vel­op­ment, to protect them against abuse and violence, and to involve them in im­por­tant decisions.

The work of UNICEF is geared to the calls of the 2002 New York World Summit for Children and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the 2030 Agenda. The work of UNICEF focuses on the rights of the child and on emergency and de­vel­op­ment measures.

UNICEF's current Medium Term Strategic Plan 2014-2017 covers the following five focus areas:

  • Health of mothers and children
  • Access to and quality of education, particularly in crisis situations
  • HIV/AIDS and children
  • Child protection from violence, exploitation and abuse
  • Access to clean water and sanitation
  • Social inclusion of children, to reduce inequalities and exclusion, particularly of poor families

The German gov­ern­ment supports this programme approach.

German contribution

The German gov­ern­ment supports UNICEF by means of a regular contribution which is made on a voluntary basis and is not linked to any specific project. This contribution totalled 10 million euros in 2016. 

The German gov­ern­ment also supports UNICEF by providing project-related resources, for example for education and health projects as well as children's rights and in the area of democracy support and crisis prevention. Finally, it also finances the secondment of Junior Professional Officers. In 2015, the German government's support for UNICEF totalled 254 million Euros, of which 250 million Euros came out of the BMZ budget. For 2016, the total commitment by the BMZ is 260 million Euros.

Memorandum of Understanding

Since 2012, the BMZ has been the lead ministry for UNICEF within the German gov­ern­ment. The co­op­er­a­tion with UNICEF is based on a Memorandum of Understanding signed in March 2013. This is designed to provide areas of focus for new projects and represent a set of recommendations for BMZ and UNICEF staff on the ground. The work programme is coordinated by the relevant department and the UNICEF coordinator in the BMZ, Dr. Ulla Mikota. This successful cooperation has been strengthened over the years.

German National Committee for UNICEF

Among all of the 34 National Committees, the "Deutsches Komitee für UNICEF e.V." in Cologne has been one of the biggest donors. In 2015, the Committee's donation was 74.5 million Euros for UNICEF programmes. The entrepreneur Dr. Jürgen Heraeus has been President of the German National Committee for UNICEF since April 2008, and Christian Schneider its Executive Director since June 2010.

The German government cooperates with both UNICEF International and the German National Committee. When UNICEF Germany celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2013, the Committee, together with the BMZ, marked this milestone with the creation of the project. was part of the global consultations regarding the global development goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

More information


United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF)

3 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
Phone: +1 / 212 / 3 26 70 00

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