Currently active in 191 countries, the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created in 1946 by the United Nations, “to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease, and discrimination place in a child’s path.” UNICEF is a member of the OneWorld Network, an umbrella organization of more than 1,500 leftwing groups that seek “to promote sustainable development, social justice, and human rights.”
UNICEF’s focus areas include the following:
Young Child Development and Survival: “UNICEF works with governments, national and international agencies, and civil society to support effective and essential actions at each phase of the life cycle of the child …”
Basic Education and Gender Equality: “UNICEF advocates quality basic education for all children — girls and boys — with an emphasis on gender equality and eliminating disparities of all kinds. In promoting equity, UNICEF focuses on the most disadvantaged children … We work … to bring about essential structural changes needed to achieve social justice and equity for all.”
HIV/AIDS and Children: “UNICEF seeks to make a difference in the lives of children affected by AIDS by: (1) preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and providing pediatric treatment; (2) preventing infection among adolescents and young people; and (3) protecting and supporting children affected by HIV/AIDS.”
Child Protection from Violence, Exploitation, and Abuse: “UNICEF advocates and supports the creation of a protective environment for children in partnership with governments, national and international partners … to prevent and respond to violence, exploitation and abuse.”
One notable recipient of UNICEF funding is the Palestinian Youth Association for Leadership and Rights Activation (PYALARA), a student-run Palestinian NGO that consistently condemns Israel and supports Palestinian militants. UNICEF has chosen PYALARA as a “major strategic partner in Palestine.”
According to National Review Online:
“UNICEF has been a major financier of Palestinian “summer camps” which encourage children to become suicide bombers. One such camp is named for Wafa Idris, a female suicide bomber.
“During the late 1990s, UNICEF served as a propaganda organ of the Saddam Hussein regime. Relying solely on Iraqi government statistics, UNICEF and the Saddam government co-authored a report asserting that over a million children in Iraq died because of U.N. sanctions. A map on the first page of the report depicted Kuwait as a province of Iraq.”
In April 2005, Dr. Shimon Samuels of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre was disturbed by what he perceived as evidence of UNICEF’s anti-Israel bias. At issue was a statement by UNICEF’s Deputy Executive Director, Toshiyuki Niwa, who had condemned Israel for the death of “three Palestinian children while at play in the Gaza strip.” Wrote Niwa: “They were playing football with their friends… just being kids when their lives were cut short… [T]his event hits me particularly hard because I have been [sic] in the area just a few hours earlier, interacting with Palestinian children.” In response to this, Samuels wrote a letter to UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy, stating:
“Last year, you assured the Wiesenthal Centre of UNICEF’s determination to condemn incitement to hate and terrorism among Palestinian children and to ensure impartiality in positions on the Middle East conflict. Your Deputy Executive Director, Toshiyuki Niwa, has now violated that commitment … Palestine Authority officials, last Saturday, confirmed that five Palestinian youths were spotted crawling toward a terrorist arms smuggling point on the Israel-Egypt border near Rafah. Indeed, when challenged, three of them ran at the Israeli border post, which opened fire. Following the incident, Palestinian police questioned the two remaining members of the group and reported that they had intended to infiltrate Egypt to bring back weapons.”
More than half of UNICEF’s income is derived from governments around the world. Much of the remainder comes from funds raised by National Committees for UNICEF and from the sale of greeting cards and products. The organization is also heavily supported by such foundations as the AT&T Foundation; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; the Carnegie Corporation of New York; the Minneapolis Foundation; the Nathan Cummings Foundation; the Sara Lee Foundation; the Surdna Foundation; and the Turner Foundation.
UNICEF’s Executive Director is Ann M. Veneman, who formerly served as U.S. Secretary of Agriculture from 2001 to 2005.