Responding to COVID-19: UNICEF’s 2020 key achievements

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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UNICEF’s 2020 key achievements

UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to save children’s lives, defend their rights and help them fulfil their potential, from early childhood through adolescence.

In 2020, COVID-19 exposed deep inequalities that have existed for too long, with the worst impact on children in the poorest countries and communities and those already disadvantaged by discrimination, social exclusion, fragility and conflict.

UNICEF used its data systems to rapidly assess the pandemic’s impact on children and leveraged its extensive presence across more than 190 countries and territories, and dual humanitarian and development mandate to play a key role in the United Nations coordinated response to COVID-19. UNICEF’s Supply Division leveraged its logistical expertise to ship half a billion items of personal protective equipment in support of 138 countries in 2020.

As always, partnerships and voluntary funding were essential to UNICEF’s work to support and improve the lives of children and young people. Public and private sector partners supported COVID-19 efforts. The pandemic also demonstrated how essential flexible resources are to UNICEF’s ability to respond quickly and effectively to sudden emergencies and provide countries and communities with the long-term support that builds resilience.

Here are a few of UNICEF’s accomplishments in 2020:

  • Providing leadership in the COVAX Facility, leading to the financing of COVID-19 vaccines for 92 low- and middle-income countries, and preparing countries to deliver the vaccine

  • Distributing critical water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services and supplies for 106 million people, including 58 million children

  • Reaching 3 billon people, including approximately 1.53 billion women and girls and 810 million children with risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) information and activities

  • Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for nearly 2.6 million health workers

  • Facilitating training on infection prevention and control for 4 million health workers

  • Facilitating training on delivering essential services for more than 30,000 social workers

  • Supporting community-based mental health and psychosocial interventions in COVID-19 response plans, reaching 78 million children, adolescents, parents and caregivers in 117 countries

  • Facilitating treatment and care for nearly 5 million children with severe wasting in more than 70 countries

  • Supporting more than 301 million children, including approximately 147 million girls, with remote learning

  • Responding to 455 new and ongoing humanitarian situations in 152 countries beyond COVID-19