UNICEF Annual Report 2011
The events of 2011 underscored the transcendent importance of expanding our efforts to reach the most disadvantaged and vulnerable children, and the crucial role innovation can and must play in all our work to help children everywhere reach their full potential.
As the 2011 UNICEF Annual Report shows, climate-related disasters, humanitarian emergencies, violent conflicts and economic turbulence all took their toll on children, especially the poorest. From the earthquake and tsunami in Japan to the severe flooding in Pakistan and the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa, UNICEF responded with our partners to alleviate the worst suffering, help communities rebuild and strengthen resilience for the future.
More broadly, in 2011 UNICEF significantly deepened implementation of our equity agenda - building on the principle that we must put first the rights of those children who are the most marginalized and most in need of our assistance. We do this not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because both research and experience show that is it the most practical and cost-effective thing to do, achieving greater results for children.
This report highlights how we translate the principle of equity into practice. Our global network of field offices works in innovative ways to reach the poorest and most remote communities with lifesaving interventions and supplies. At the country level, UNICEF supports the efforts of governments to increase routine immunization, improve the quality of education and boost school enrolment, and expand access to vital health services, including measures to prevent transmission of HIV from mother to child. UNICEF advocates at every level for policies and practices that save and enhance children's lives.
And throughout our organization, we are working to become ever more efficient with precious resources, and all the more accountable to those who entrust them to us. This is especially important now, in an environment of continued fiscal challenges. We are proud that in 2011, UNICEF's major budget review achieved significant savings by cutting headquarters management costs without cutting programmes - for the staff in the field are the key to realizing greater results for children, and we are committed to providing them with the resources they need.
In 2011, UNICEF took other steps to become more efficient. We began to roll out an organization-wide implementation of our new Monitoring of Results for Equity Systems - to monitor and manage programme expenditures against programme results. For the better we monitor results, the better we can manage for results. And in the end, results are all that matter, if we are to fulfil children's rights.
We have taken these steps so that UNICEF can best serve the most vulnerable children everywhere we work. And we will continue to target inequities and strive to become an ever more innovative, agile and accountable organization, always seeking to give children, families and communities the tools they need to build their own futures. The futures they deserve.
Anthony Lake UNICEF Executive Director