UNICEF's Annual Report 2014
A future – and a world – in which every child has a fair chance in life
The chance to live and to grow strong. To play and to learn. To reach the fullness of adulthood willing and able to pass the same fair chance on to the next generation.
This is the world we imagine for children – every year. And in 2014, UNICEF worked hard to close the gap between what we imagine for children and what we are able to achieve.
The same year in which we marked the 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child – and celebrated a quarter-century of progress for children – was also one of the most devastating years for children in recent memory.
Millions were affected by a rising number of disasters, conflicts and chronic crises – and new threats like the Ebola outbreak that could roll back years of progress. Millions continued to be denied their right to a fair chance – because of the family into which they were born, the community or country in which they live, or other circumstances beyond their control. Because of their gender or their ethnicity. Because they live with a disability.
What does the future hold for the children at greatest risk and in greatest need? For their societies? Because these early deprivations and traumas affect the lives of individual children … and the lives of their children, driving intergenerational cycles of inequity and inequality in rich and poor countries alike.
But these cycles can be broken, if we focus greater investment on reducing disparities between those whose needs are met and those in greatest need, in every society. If we identify the most disadvantaged children through better data. If we reach them through more innovative programmes, products and partnerships shaped around overcoming bottlenecks and barriers to equity.
The pages of this annual report are filled with examples of the impact such an equity approach is having in the lives of the children UNICEF serves.
They tell the story of a changing world in which emergencies are on the rise – and our humanitarian efforts and development work are increasingly interrelated.
The story of UNICEF’s work with our partners to foster, fuel and harness innovation to reach every child – and to help children, young people and communities reach us with their concerns and ideas.
The story of our advocacy for greater investment in the most disadvantaged children – and our public engagement to join and fuel rising social movements for those at risk.
The story of a rapidly changing funding environment – with overall increases in donations to support our work, new support from the private sector and a closer relationship with our partners in government, other sectors and communities – but a relative decrease in the core resources we require to respond quickly and flexibly as needs arise.
The story of our constant drive to become an ever-more innovative and efficient organization, making the best use we can of all the resources entrusted to us.
The story of UNICEF’s people – thousands of deeply committed women and men helping millions of children in some of the most challenging and dangerous situations in the world.
Ultimately, these pages tell the story of the children we serve.
Our story is their story. Their future, the future of the world.
UNICEF Executive Director