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Jul 17, 2020

Update: Half a Billion People Reached

Mother washes her child's hands in Indonesia
Mother washes her child's hands in Indonesia

Dear Friend,

Even before the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global health emergency, UNICEF had rushed six metric tons of medical supplies to the front lines. To date, UNICEF has delivered tens of millions of protective items for health workers, medical equipment and hygiene supplies. Now, 40 million health care and frontline workers won’t have to risk their lives to save lives. Key to UNICEF's effectiveness is its humanitarian warehouse in Copenhagen, the world's largest, which can ship emergency supplies anywhere in the world in 48 to 72 hours.

Ensuring access to accurate information regarding COVID-19 has been a key priority for UNICEF since the outbreak began. Thanks to your support, UNICEF has already helped reach over half a billion people with COVID-19 prevention messaging. At a time when fake news can do real harm, UNICEF is teaming up with Facebook, LinkedIn and TikTok to dispel rumors and make sure that health education messages specifically tailored for children, parents and caregivers, teachers, community leaders and the media reach all corners of the globe.

In Indonesia, where the nation's first case of COVID-19 was reported on March 2, UNICEF teamed up with the government to conduct a poll via U-Report — a youth engagement tool that uses mobile phones to connect with more than 68 million users worldwide — to test young people's knowledge of coronavirus. The poll generated 6,800 responses in three days and helped to identify what young people know and don't know about symptoms, transmission and prevention. Up-to-date messages on how to stay safe were shared with all 108,000 U-Reporters across the country. Results from the poll were used to create a COVID-19 chatbot that is now being scaled up in 42 countries.

Thank you for your continued support of this work and for standing with UNICEF.

In Partnership,


Jun 23, 2020

Update: The Impact of COVID-19 on Children

A mother using a hand-washing facility
A mother using a hand-washing facility

Dear Friend,

The novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to over 215 countries with over 461,700 reported deaths and 8.7 million confirmed cases. While children seem to be less vulnerable to COVID-19 itself, the collateral impact on children and their families is significant, with the impact disproportionally affecting poor and vulnerable children and families. Some 1.29 billion children in 186 countries – 73.8 percent of all enrolled students – are directly affected by national school closures. These closures have put the nutritional health of 370 million children at risk by depriving them of school meals. Sufficient water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services are essential for adequate infection prevention and control (IPC); however, across the world, 2.1 billion people lack access to safe water at home and 4.5 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation.

With your generous support, UNICEF and partners achieved the following results:

  • Reached over 1.6 billion people with COVID-19 messaging;
  • Provided over 11.5 million people with critical WASH supplies;
  • Shipped more than 6.6 million gloves, 1.3 million surgical masks and 428,069 N95 respirators,
  • Reached over 79.8 million children with distance/home-based learning;
  • Together with Microsoft, announced an expansion of the Learning Passport partnership to enable high-quality digital learning during the crisis; and
  • Reached over 830,000 children, parents and/or caregivers with mental health support

Your continued contribution to these efforts allows UNICEF to prevent new infections through public health education and outreach; the scale up of alternative communications channels to help provide education and child protection services; key relevant support to health systems to help boost supplies of key equipment; and tackle misinformation that could have harmful effects on children.

Thank you for your continued partnership in support of UNICEF’s emergency response efforts. Your generous support allows UNICEF to remain flexible in times of crisis and provide support to children when it is needed most.

In Partnership,


Jun 16, 2020

Update: Access to Education within Syria

Dear Friend,

In March 2020, the Syrian Crisis entered its tenth year, as 11.7 million people reportedly remain in need of humanitarian assistance, including 5 million children

Throughout the country, 2.1 million children aged 5 to 17 years are out of school and 1.3 million children are at risk of dropping out or not learning.

In 2019, the widespread destruction of vital infrastructure such as hospitals, schools, water stations and bakeries hampered the provision of urgent humanitarian assistance and the return of displaced people, with direct and indirect impacts on education. Between April and October 2019, at least 45 schools were damaged by airstrikes and shelling in northern Hama and southern Idleb governorates, resulting in 400,000 children not able to sit for final exams in Idleb. With the start of the school year in September 2019, the impact of the hostilities on education became more alarming. Half of the schools in Idleb governorate were damaged or destroyed during the fighting or used as shelter for internally displaced persons (IDPs). Areas with an influx of IDPs experienced a shortage of learning space, equipment and teachers, as some 150,000 children were estimated to be among the 400,000 displaced.

To address the ongoing challenges facing out-of-school children in Syria, the Educate a Child program, a partnership between Educate a Child, UNICEF and UNICEF USA, continues to deliver educational services and materials, psychosocial support, recreational activities and improved learning environments to children throughout Syria with limited or no access to school.

During the first two years of the program, UNICEF and partners have reached 310,286 out-of-school children in Syria, providing children without access to education with a pathway to learning and opening up a lifetime of possibilities. During the second half of 2019, UNICEF and partners accomplished the following results:

  • 29,375 out-of-school children (14,137 girls and 15,238 boys) received self-learning materials;
  • 33,207 out-of-school children (16,033 girls and 17,174 boys) benefitted from stationery and school-in-a-box distribution;
  • 19,197 out-of-school children benefitted from rehabilitation of 216 learning spaces
  • 33,428 out-of-school children (16,084 girls and 17,344 boys)participated in recreational activities to provide psychosocial support; and
  • 909 education facilitators (400 female, 509 male) were recruited and trained to conduct self-learning program classes.

In 2020, despite limited local capacity, ongoing conflict and a deeply complex operating environment, UNICEF is building on strong partnerships with national and international NGOs, the national government and a range of other partners to deliver education services and materials to out-of-school children. In the final year of the program, UNICEF and partners plan to reach additional out-of-school children with learning materials, classes and support services and deepen work with government and other stakeholders to elevate the national discussion on reaching out-of-school children and increase access to education. Your continued support is necessary in enabling UNICEF to continue to support out-of-school children in Syria.

In Partnership,

Whitney Simon

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