UNICEF Core Contribution 2018-2020

Project completed

Despite important progress for children over the last 15 years, child rights violations and inequities persist. UNICEF is mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet their basic needs and to expand their opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Switzerland supports UNICEF because it is the main UN organization with a comprehensive mandate on child protection & development.

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Primary education
Basic nutrition
Primary health care
01.01.2018 - 31.12.2020
CHF  59’600’000
Area of responsibility

UNICEF is guided by the Convention on the Rights of the Child and strives to establish children's rights as enduring ethical principles and international standards of behaviour towards children.

UNICEF works with all its partners towards the attainment of the sustainable human development goals adopted by the world community and the realization of the vision of peace and social progress enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. UNICEF work contributes to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in particular the 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 16 related respectively to no poverty, zero hunger, health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clear water and sanitation, and peaceful and inclusive societies.

UNICEF is unique as its mandate covers both humanitarian action and development. UNICEF responds in emergencies to protect the rights of children in coordination with UN partners and humanitarian agencies. UNICEF has developed a strong nexus humanitarian development at conceptual, organizational and operational levels.

Switzerland's and the organisation's strategic priorities and their coherence

UNICEF is among the 15 priority multilateral organizations according to the Dispatch on International Cooperation 2017-2020. Its five goals areas (health & nutrition, education, child protection, water & sanitation, and gender equality) correspond closely to those of SDC as outlined in the Dispatch 2017-2020.

UNICEF contributes to the implementation of the SDC Education Strategy.

UNICEF contributes directly toward the implementation and results monitoring of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to which Switzerland is committed to implement at national and international level.

UNICEF also contributes to the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its 3 facultative protocols that were all ratified by Switzerland.

Results of the organisation's previous engagement

UNICEF has delivered significant results for children over the period 2014-2017. The average achievement rate for the 2016 output-level milestones was 89 per cent.

In 2016 alone, more than 61 million children were immunized against measles, 15.6 million children received learning materials and 10.5 million people had access to improved drinking water sources through UNICEF support. In humanitarian situations alone, 11.7 million children were reached with formal and non-formal basic education, 2.4 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition thanks to UNICEF action.

UNICEF has continued to improve organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and enhancing results-based management.

Results of Switzerland's engagement in previous phase

Achievements at the Swiss level have been satisfactory. Switzerland actively engaged in the definition of the Strategic Plan 2018-2021, in particular regarding the roles and function of UNICEF in different contexts and advocating for a stronger engagement with the private sector in order to harness their power.

Switzerland engaged in ensuring UNICEF’s implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) with mixed results in the ‘working together with other UN agencies’.

Switzerland was among the first donors and supporters of the Global Partnership on ending violence against children, which was initiated by UNICEF and WHO. 

Medium-term outcome of organisation's current engagement

The overall expected impact of UNICEF is to contribute to the realisation of rights of every child- in particular the most disadvantaged - to survive, learn, be protected from violence and exploitation, live in a safe and clean environment and have an equitable chance in life.

In addition, to further enhance organizational effectiveness, outcomes will follow-up on performance of audit function, transparency as well as increased performance of regional and country offices.

Effect in Switzerland

The expected outcomes of the partnership will be the following :

  • Strengthened education for children and youth for better employability and enhanced citizenship
  • Improved protection of children from violence and exploitation
  • Improved institutional effectiveness, in particular evaluation, engagement with the private sector and gender parity amongst staff
  • Implementation of the UNDS reform by ensuring UNICEF’s full integration and implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review recommendations and progress on UN reform.
  • Enhanced representation of Switzerland as a member state through an increased number of Swiss staff
Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    59’600’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    59’600’000

Government: 1. USA, 2. Sweden, 3. Norway, 4. United Kingdom, 5. Netherlands, 6. Switzerland, 7. Denmark, 8. Belgium, 9. Japan, 10. Australia.

For National Committees: 1. USA, 2. Japan, 3. Korea, 4. Germany, 5. Sweden, 14. Switzerland

Coordination with other projects and actors

Switzerland regularly coordinates its positions with the Western European and Others Group (WEOG), as well as establishing alliances with interested countries outside the WEOG. Switzerland also work closely with the Swiss National Committee for UNICEF.

Project phases Phase 25 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2021   (Completed)

Phase 24 01.01.2018 - 31.12.2020   (Completed)

Phase 22 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)