Every day countless children around the world struggle to survive.

Disease and hunger cause the deaths of millions of the children each year, but these deaths are preventable.

By becoming a UNICEF Global Parent you can help children survive and thrive. Your monthly donation will be used to vaccinate, feed and educate the world’s most vulnerable children.

Malnutrition 

Malnutrition is still the leading cause of death for children under five globally.

More than three million children die every year from malnutrition – that’s one child every 10 seconds. 

War, conflict, natural disasters, climate change or economic inflation can all lead to food shortages and insecurity. War can affect food imports, floods or drought can destroy crops and inflation can cause increased prices, leaving families unable to afford even the most basic staples. 

3-month-old Saqr  is fed ready-to-use therapeutic food at UNICEF-supported hospital in Yemen.

Malnutrition also reduces resistance to disease and leaves children vulnerable to infections from common childhood illnesses like diarrhoea or tummy bugs. Many children die from these everyday infections, because their hungry bodies simply don’t have the energy to fight the illness. 

Severe Acute Malnutrition in children is particularly dangerous and can have a life-long impact on their health. Developmental delays and stunting are just some of the side-effects of malnutrition. Around the world there are more than 150 million stunted children, children who have failed to grow physically and develop mentally because of malnutrition.

Letmedhin holds her son Zewila (1) who is suffering from malnutrition in Tigray, Ethiopia.

Today COVID-19 has disrupted food supply chains, leaving millions at risk of hunger. War in Yemen has practically halted the importation of food, while inflation has left families unable to afford basics like bread or rice. 

Right now half of all children under the age of five in Yemen are malnourished. Millions of children are starving, health systems are collapsing, medicine, clean water and food are all in short supply.

Immunisation 

Vaccines are life-saving. They’ve saved billions of lives since their invention and are the world’s safest method to protect children from life-threatening diseases.

For two centuries vaccines have safely reduced the scourge of deadly diseases like Polio, Measles and Smallpox. Every year vaccines prevent up to three million deaths, however despite these longstanding benefits, some 20 million children miss out on life-saving vaccines annually.

boy receives measles vaccine
A brave little boy receiving his measles vaccine during the vaccination campaign in the Republic of Congo.

The most poor and marginalized children – often most in need of vaccines – continue to be the least likely to get them. Many live in countries affected by conflict, in remote areas, or where polio remains endemic.

COVID-19 has also halted the roll-out of many routine immunisation programmes, leaving millions of children at-risk and unable to receive life-saving vaccines. 

A woman receives a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in a vaccination centre in New Delhi, India.

Today, UNICEF is working to vaccinate the world’s poorest populations against COVID-19. Two billion vaccines are needed to ensure the most vulnerable populations are protected against coronavirus. 

Education 

More children and adolescents today are enrolled in pre-primary, primary and secondary education than ever before. Yet for many schooling does not lead to learning – and this was before COVID-19 disrupted learning across the globe. 

A lack of trained teachers, inadequate learning materials, makeshift classes and poor sanitation facilities make learning difficult for many children. Some children come to school too hungry, tired and sick to benefit from class

girls holding unicef school bags
Happy children hold up their UNICEF schools bags at school in Niamey, Niger.

Girls are often forgotten, left at home to help with chores and without the chance to follow their dreams. Menstruation and a lack of sanitary products and facilities also cut short many girls’ education. 

Location also keeps children from school. Children living in rural or isolated areas often have to walk for hours to attend school. Children in rural areas are almost twice as likely to be out of primary school than their urban peers. 

War also has a devastating impact on children’s education. The Syrian conflict caused, and still causes, millions of children to lose years of schooling. Today, in conflict zones, more than 27 million children are out of school.

Excited children smile at the camera while attending class.

Without access to education, children will struggle to pull themselves out of poverty. Children will struggle to read, write and understand basic mathematics. Without these skills, many will struggle to find employment, which in turn can lead to hunger, homelessness and illness. 

With that, the cycle of poverty continues for another generation. 

How You Can Help

But there is a way to stop this…

Become a UNICEF Global Parent and make a small monthly donation to save children’s lives. 

  • €15 a month can provide enough vaccine doses to protect 20 children against measles and rubella each month. Measles is a highly-contagious disease and is especially deadly in densely-populated slums, where countless children could die if they were not vaccinated.
  • €21 a month can provide enough emergency food and therapeutic biscuits to save 21 children suffering from malnutrition each month.
  • €30 a month can help towards a year’s supply of school supplies for over 20 children. With copies, pencils, exercise books, textbooks, and even a skipping rope, children will be ready to learn and play. 

By donating every month, you are supporting children each and every day. You ensure that every child in need is reached, no matter where they are.

Ongoing, regular support is the only reason we are able to plan for uncertainties and help vulnerable children immediately when disaster strikes.

We don’t need big donations; we need regular donations – something we can bank on from someone we can rely on.

Will you be a Global Parent and help save children’s lives? 

Become a Monthly Donor Today 

To become a Global Parent, you can simply sign up at the top of the page, call us on 01 878 3000 or email us at info@unicef.ie 

Please donate whatever you can today and help make a real difference in children’s lives.