UNICEF Core Contribution 2021

Project completed

UNICEF is the leading UN agency to advocate for the protection of children’s rights, to help meet basic needs and to expand children’s opportunities to reach their full potential. UNICEF is guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by Switzerland in 1997. Switzerland supports UNICEF to provide education and ensure the protection of every child, to strengthen its institutional effectiveness and implement the United Nations Development System Reform. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget

Primary education
Basic nutrition
Primary health care
01.01.2021 - 31.12.2021
CHF  19’300’000
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 towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in collaboration with all its partners. UNICEF’s work contributes notably to the realization of SDG 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 16 related respectively to end poverty, zero hunger, health and wellbeing, quality education, gender equality, clear water and sanitation, and peaceful, just and inclusive societies.

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

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

Switzerland’s International Cooperation Strategy 2021-2024 includes UNICEF as one of 16 priority multilateral development organisations for Switzerland’s international cooperation:

·      UNICEF’s goal areas (health & nutrition, education, child protection, water & sanitation, and gender equality) correspond closely with Switzerland priorities as outlined in its International Cooperation Strategy 2021-2024.

·      To support UNICEF to implement these priorities, Switzerland leverages its own thematic expertise (education, protection and humanitarian aid) and geographic network.

·      UNICEF is an important partner for Switzerland in the achievement of the SDGs and contributes to the implementation of SDC’s Education Strategy

·      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.

-       UNICEF is an important partner for Switzerland to promote the humanitarian-development nexus.

Results of the organisation's previous engagement

UNICEF has delivered significant results for children over the period 2018-2020. At mid-point of the Strategic Plan 2018-2021, 74 per cent of output milestones have been met or nearly met, with 10 per cent somewhat off track and 16 per cent significantly off track. Out of the 37 results areas, 33 have reached over 90 per cent of the milestones, 4 between 60 and 90 per cent and none below 60 per cent. In 2019 alone, more than 41.3 million children were immunized against measles, 12.4 million children received learning materials and 39.1 million had access to improved drinking water sources. In humanitarian situations, 7.4 million children were reached with formal and non-formal basic education, 4.1 million children were treated for severe acute malnutrition and more than 8.5 million children benefited from cash-based support.

From an institutional perspective UNICEF has continued to improve gender responsive programming, organizational efficiency, effectiveness, and enhanced results-based management. 

Results of Switzerland's engagement in previous phase

Achievements at the Swiss level have been satisfactory. Switzerland prioritized education, protection, institutional effectiveness (evaluation in particular) and implementation of the UNDS Reform. Key results from Switzerland engagement are the development and adoption of the new evaluation policy, the new Education Strategy (2019-2030) that is closely aligned to Switzerland’s education priorities and the inclusion of UNICEF’s UNDS reform contribution in the Mid-Term Review and forthcoming Multilateral Organizations Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN) assessment. In 2020, Switzerland was a member of the UNICEF Executive Board Bureau and was able to influence important decision-making processes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, about 10% of Swiss core contributions were used by UNICEF to rapidly and flexibly respond to the COVID-19 crisis. 

Medium-term outcome of organisation's current engagement

The overall expected impact of UNICEF is to contribute to the realisation of the 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.

UNICEF’s organisational effectiveness is expected to improve further through improved audit function, enhanced use and implementation of evaluation findings and transparency.

COVID 19 has a profound impact on children’s health, wellbeing and education. Furthermore, the crisis might also affect global spending on official development assistance (ODA), with particular pressure on core funding. UNICEF has mobilized additional resources and sharpened its focus to address areas that are most affected, such as education and health services for children.

Effect in Switzerland

Switzerland will continue to engage with UNICEF on the following topics::

·       Switzerland supports strengthened education for children and youth for better employability and enhanced citizenship and improved protection of children from violence and exploitation

·       Switzerland supports improved institutional effectiveness, in particular evaluation, engagement with the private sector and gender parity among staff.

·       Switzerland contributes to the implementation of UNDS reform by ensuring UNICEF’s full integration and implementation of the Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review (QCPR) recommendations.

·       Switzerland ensures enhanced representation of Switzerland in UNICEF through an increased number of Swiss staff.

·       Switzerland strengthens the continuum of UNICEF’s work between humanitarian action and development

·       Switzerland is actively engaged in the elaboration of the new Strategic Plan 2022 – 2025 to ensure its priorities are reflected

-        Switzerland, as instituional co-lead, ensures that recommendations of the independent MOPAN assessment are implemented and reflected in the new Strategic Plan

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Project partners Contract partner
United Nations Organization (UNO)
  • United Nations Children’s Fund

Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    19’300’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    19’300’000

Government: 1. USA, 2. United Kingdom, 3. Germany, 4. Norway, 5. Sweden, 6. Netherlands, 7. Canada, 8. Japan, 9. Saudi Arabia, 10. Denmark, 12. Switzerland

National Committees (private sector): 1. USA, 2. Japan, 3. Germany, 4. Korea, 5. Spain, 14. Switzerland.

Coordination with other projects and actors

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

Project phases Phase 26 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2024   (Current phase)

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)