Ethical investing for children 

Ethical investing for children

Vaccine Independence Initiative (VII)

At times of humanitarian crisis, getting vital supplies to the frontlines fast can make a life-saving difference. Sadly, each year millions of children can’t access critical commodities in time, as governments struggle to mobilize funds quickly enough to buy vaccines and other essential supplies when they are needed most.

To reach children when it matters, UNICEF has created an innovative revolving fund, the Vaccine Independence Initiative (VII), that provides countries with prefinancing flexibilities, allowing for the timely purchase of essential commodities for health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and education.

For impact investors and philanthropists (private donors, foundations, corporations), the VII provides the chance to maximize the social impact of their capital, while wealth and portfolio managers or investment advisors, can diversify the investment portfolio of their clients with a unique asset class with minimal risks and high social impact.

A baby is vaccinated at a UNICEF health center.

The impact for children

  • Access to quality, low-cost life-saving essential commodities up to six months sooner than would otherwise be possible.
  • Prevent temporary shortages and stock-outs of essential commodities for children by allowing for payment after delivery instead of in advance.
  • Ensure that health gains that have been achieved over the past decade are not reversed.

The VII’s track record

  • The VII has operated for 27 years, benefitting children in 30+ countries mainly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, as well as Eastern Europe and Central Asia. In terms of vaccines alone, the initiative distributed almost 300 million doses of lifesaving vaccines during 2017-2018.
  • The fund has a historical default rate of 0% since inception (1991) as all transactions to beneficiary countries have been repaid.

How the VII works with investors

As a revolving fund, UNICEF’s VII sees investors recover their capital after 5 years at a low-risk interest rate of 0%, but with the assurance of maximum humanitarian impact for children, as the funds are used 10 times during the 5-year investment period (typically 2 times per year).

The investor journey

  • Become part of a select group of like-minded individuals, foundations, and companies delivering impact for children through new innovative financing solutions.
  • Receive an annual progress report with updates on the initiative and clear impact indicators.
  • Gain access to a series of exclusive events, field trips, and meetings with high-level experts from UNICEF and its partners around vaccine procurement and innovative financing (i.e. an annual visit to Supply Division in Copenhagen to meet with experts and visit UNICEF’s warehouse, the largest humanitarian warehouse in the world).


To invest, donate, or learn more please contact: UNICEF Ireland’s Head of Philanthropy, Donna Marie O'Donovan
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a woman is sitting at a table drawing with a little girl


As the world’s largest children’s organisation, the scale and the impact UNICEF can achieve for children by leveraging its infrastructure, economies of scale, expertise, and global reach is truly unique. In terms of vaccines alone, each year UNICEF procures an estimated 2 billion doses of vaccines and reaches approximately 45% of the world’s children under five, in over 100 countries.

Speak to us

If you’re an investor, wealth manager, or philanthropist interested in learning more about the VII and other ethical investing opportunities with UNICEF, please contact UNICEF Ireland’s Head of Philanthropy, Donna Marie O’Donovan at

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UNICEF | for every child

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