Of the world’s estimated one billion children, more than half face a short life burdened with hunger and sick-ness. Many die in infancy; others are disabled by disease or malnutrition. To tackle this problem on a world-wide scale the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) was created by the United Nations on December 11, 1946. UNICEF is a part of the United Nations, with a semi-autonomous status. It is governed by a thirty-nation Executive Board which meets regularly to set policy, consider requests, allocate aid and evaluate results. Financ-ing of UNICEF is by voluntary contributions, mainly by Governments, about one hundred of which now contri-bute annually. In recent years UNICEF allocation of aid have totaled about $30 million a year and these are expected to go up.
Purpose: The function of UNICEF is to help countries improve the welfare of children throughout the world. The Organization concentrates particularly on three needs of the Children viz. (1) the provision of health services mostly preventive but also curative; (2) control of communicable disease; and (3) improvements of nutrition.
To ensure the first, UNICEF supplies equipment not only to large number of hospitals but, also to thousands of Maternity and Child Welfare centers in 72 countries. In Pakistan, UNICEF is helping to establish a projected new Rural Health Scheme. 30 Rural Health Units, each with three sub-centers, have already started functioning and about 30 are to be set up yearly to ensure that preventive health services and medical aid come within the reach of the poorest villagers. The UNICEF aids Training schools for health workers. Daees, the traditional birth attendants, are being provided with special training facilities and basic instru-ments by UNICEF.
To help control disease, UNICEF has launched world-wide campaign against such major scourges as Tuberculosis, Yaws, Trachoma, Malaria and Leprosy. In Pakistan, millions of children and adults have been tested and immunized against TB To provide urgently needed DDT for anti-malarial operations, UNICEF has helped in setting up a DDT factory at Daudkhel. A penicillin factory, built up with material assistance by UNICEF, is at present manufacturing annually about 8 to 10 tons of penicillin for anti-biotic use for patients at hospitals throughout the country.
UNICEF is attacking the problem of hunger on many fronts. In Pakistan, skimmed and whole Milk and Vita-mins are distributed to Children and their mothers at MCH centres and hospitals. To ensure a regular supply of milk to needy children, UNICEF is providing equipment and transport for a milk conservation plant in Karachi. Similar plants are planned for Lahore, Rawalpindi and Dacca.
The Pakistan Post Office has issued this set of stamps to commemorate the 16th anniversary of UNICEF.