It has been a year of incredible firsts. From the first World Children’s Day, to the first Workout for Water, 2017 was at all times a challenging, rewarding, and ground-breaking year.
We faced an unprecedented number of humanitarian crises. Whether from natural disasters, or ongoing conflict, millions of children around the world were in harm’s way and in urgent need of assistance. UNICEF will always be there for children, but our resources are being stretched in ways that we have rarely experienced. The demands upon our organisation, and upon our donors are relentless, and we can only thank our supporters for their unending commitment to helping children in need.
The nature of fundraising and raising awareness of issues affecting children is changing rapidly, and we are constantly needing to innovate and find new ways to connect with our donors and supporters.
We are now starting to see the results of our years of experimenting. This year saw the first big result from the Les Mills International Move The World partnership - a New Zealand-based corporate partnership that is thinking globally rather than just in New Zealand. By using a peer-to-peer fundraising model, we were able to tap into an enormous network of supporters we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to reach. And to have raised more than USD $1.1m for the wider UNICEF organisation in our first year suggests that there is enormous potential to be unlocked as this partnership grows and develops.
Our relationship with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is developing further into multi-year, multi-million-dollar contracts, meaning an increase in the size, scale and impact of the projects we can deliver throughout the Pacific. We are working increasingly closely with UNICEF Pacific and other Pacific rim countries such as Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea to ensure we are improving outcomes for children in those countries.
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But we haven’t forgotten about our work at home. The June release of UNICEF’s 2017 Innocenti report on the health and wellbeing of children had a massive impact in New Zealand. It was a sobering reminder that New Zealand performs poorly when compared to other OECD countries in terms of youth suicide, infant mortality, and the health and well-being of our young people. The shocking revelation that we have the highest youth suicide rate in the developed world generated headlines around the world, and created outrage here in New Zealand.
The 2017 election was a major opportunity to shine a light on those issues. Following many years of demanding action on child poverty in New Zealand, we were encouraged that both major parties announced specific policies to reduce child poverty, should they be elected. Since the election of the Labour coalition government, we have seen new measurements of child poverty introduced, a new commitment to lift many thousands of children out of material hardship, and - for the first time - a Minister for Child Poverty Reduction.
For UNICEF NZ, this welcome appointment is the result of more than a decade’s work and advocacy. But we did not act alone. We were joined on this journey by many other organisations, groups and individuals, who helped force commitment to address this issue. It is testament to the power of social movements and collaboration, when many people from across society form a clear view, and demand action. New Zealand’s children will benefit from these policies, and we are proud to have added our voice to this cause.
At a time when global disasters get so much attention, it is a reminder that we can never give up on fighting to improve matters for children - for every child.
Finally we would like to acknowledge the efforts of UNICEF NZ’s outgoing board chair, Jon Ramage. For the last six years, including three as chair, Jon has been a powerful advocate for this organisation and for children. His presence, guidance, and enthusiasm will be missed.
Vivien Maidaborn, Executive Director
Liz Gibbs, Acting Board Chair
3 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition worldwide. Globally UNICEF is the leading supplier of Plumpy Nut, an emergency treatment for malnourished children.
207,000 children under five were treated for severe malnutrition in South Sudan, and in Somalia 145,988 children were treated for severe malnutrition.
811,000 people in South Sudan were given access to safe water. This clean water protected children and their communities from deadly water-borne diseases.
3.5 million children affected by conflict or disaster received psychosocial support.
33 million people received clean water for cooking, drinking and cleaning.
In total, UNICEF responded to 337 humanitarian situations in 102 countries.
The war in Syria has devastated Iman’s life. Exposed to years of horrific violence and conflict, she lost her husband and her home. She was forced to flee Aleppo with nothing but her four children. But just when Iman thought they were safe, they faced a threat they couldn’t escape: winter.
As temperatures plummeted, their make-shift shelter could not protect them from the snow storms and freezing temperatures. Wet, cold and without warm clothing, her children were helpless against the harshness of winter.
Iman’s baby was the first to die. He froze to death while she desperately tried to warm his milk. Then just weeks later, her young daughter passed away. Already weak from hunger, she was unable to fight sickness caused by living in the cold, damp shelter.
Sadly, this nightmare is a reality for millions of Syrian families.
Iman and her two remaining sons now live in a camp for displaced families within Syria. And with UNICEF support, they’ve received the warm clothing, thermal blankets and medicine needed to keep them safe and warm.
“I live for my children,” says Iman. “I pray for a better life for them.”
4.8 million children in Yemen were vaccinated against polio.
3 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition, using ready-to-use therapeutic food.
5.7 million people in Yemen were given access to safe water, protecting them from deadly water-borne diseases.
Ahmed’s donkey is arguably the most important member of his vaccination team. This sturdy, resilient animal carries an all-important gas cylinder that powers a generator to keep the vaccine container cold, and prevent vaccines from degrading.
"We need to vaccinate our children because they are a part of us," Ahmed said, "We will not leave out even a single child."
8.8 million children in emergencies were reached with education.
12.5 million children received education materials last year.
259 million additional children have been enrolled in education between 2000 and 2015.
Like most children in Timor-Leste, Nevia lives in a small rural village. These villages are often remote and many kilometres from the nearest town, where the majority of pre-schools are located.
It used to be impossible for Nevia to get to pre-school. There are no roads, and certainly no public transport to catch, and at her age, she couldn’t walk for hours along a trail to get there and back each day.
Nevia is now able to attend pre-school thanks to our generous donors who have made it possible to bring education to her village.
UNICEF works in Nevia's village of Darabay, running the Uato-Lari alternative early childhood education centre. The closest government funded pre-school is 30 minutes away and has seventy students per teacher. UNICEF’s centre is right in the village, with much smaller class sizes.
Nevia’s mum Amelia is very proud of the progress her daughter has made. "Now she sings at home, can do drawings and knows the alphabet."
In March, U-Report NZ went live! U-Report is an innovative digital platform that lets young people have their say on important issues.
Through discussion, sharing information, and online polling they are able to share their views on a wide range of issues affecting young people in New Zealand. The polls generate data which is used to bring a youth voice to UNICEF’s advocacy.
Thanks to U-Report, we amplified the voices of young people on important issues such as mental health, democracy and youth voting, consent and sex education, the environment and climate change.
We partnered with Girl Guides, Ministry of Youth and Development, and grassroots youth organisations such as Naenae Clubhouse, Wainuiomata Hashtags, and Inside Out. And we’ve formed a U-Report youth leadership squad of nine young people who are committed to guiding the programme.
After launching in March, more than 600 young people signed up to become U-Reporters in 2017.
All children have the right to voice their opinions on matters that are important to them.
Masterton City Council was investigating how to improve the town’s central business district. UNICEF New Zealand's 'Map Your World' initiative gave students from Masterton the chance to present their ideas on how their town should look, and the opportunity to make decisions about their community.
Working alongside their mentor, Bailey Peterson, the students presented ideas on how to improve the CBD after surveying whanau, classmates and the wider community about how they wanted to live, learn and play.
Some of the ideas presented to the mayor and elected councillors included creating community gardens and green public areas, establishing youth centres and pedestrianising part of Queen Street. Ka pai!
Kiribati, Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE)
The early years of a child’s life are crucial. With funding from the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Aid Programme and NZ public donations, UNICEF launched a 3 year project. It is called ‘Strengthening Early Childhood Care and Education and Positive Parenting in Kiribati’ and done in partnership with the Government of Kiribati. Parents participated in Positive Parenting workshops run by five trained ‘champions’ in 10 locations throughout Kiribati.
Timor Leste Community-Based Pre-schools Projects
UNICEF, with support from MFAT, the Morgan Foundation and donations from the public in New Zealand, improved access to quality community-based pre-schools in Timor Leste.
The projects are strengthening 120 pre-schools in remote areas to develop a sustainable model for Government and communities. UNICEF partnered with the University of Waikato to conduct an analysis of the community-based pre-school sector and help determine the next phase of the project.
Pre-positioned Emergency Supplies in the Pacific
With support from MFAT, UNICEF provided pre-positioned emergency response supplies in Fiji and Samoa so that we can respond immediately to disaster-affected areas in the Pacific region. The supplies included water, sanitation, health and education resources such as school-in-a-box kits.
South Sudan Famine Response
With support from MFAT and donations from the public, we supported the relief effort in South Sudan where huge numbers of children were at risk from malnutrition.
The New Zealand contribution meant that 3,650 severely malnourished children were treated with life-saving therapeutic food and health services, resulting in an 83.6% recovery rate. Another 2,750 malnourished children will receive treatment in 2018.
Ambae Volcano, Vanuatu
UNICEF NZ with support from MFAT and donations from the New Zealand public, supported the people of Ambae after volcanic ash contaminated water sources and destroyed crops and livestock.
The entire Ambae population (11,600 people including 5,220 children) was evacuated off the island for their own safety in September 2017. Once the situation had settled, residents were repatriated back on to the island and UNICEF responded with the distribution of WASH and education supplies.
Fundraising income includes donations and gifts from the New Zealand public, schools and businesses, major donor etc, as well as income from legacies.
Project funding includes grants from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ NZPFID programme for overseas projects. Other income includes grants for monitoring international projects, grants from UNICEF Geneva to undertake new fundraising initiatives, investment income, a grant from the Childrens Foundation and grants for New Zealand advocacy and child rights education work.
The following income does not include the $1,103,296 USD raised through the New Zealand led initiative Workout for Water. These funds were directed to the wider organisation and are not reflected in UNICEF NZ's figures.
Full financial reports are available upon request.