Priyanka Chopra Jonas interacts with children

UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Priyanka Chopra Jonas travelled to Poland this week to meet refugee children and families who fled the war in Ukraine.

woman holding child

Globally, only half (52%) of children living with HIV are on life-saving treatment, far behind adults where three quarters (76%) are receiving antiretrovirals, according to the data that has just been released in the UNAIDS Global AIDS Update 2022. Concerned by the stalling of progress for children, and the widening gap between children and adults, UNAIDS, UNICEF, WHO and partners have brought together a global alliance to ensure that no child living with HIV is denied treatment by the end of the decade and to prevent new infant HIV infections.

Baby lying down with vaccine drip above

The largest sustained decline in childhood vaccinations in 30 years has been recorded in data published by WHO and UNICEF. According to the agencies, global vaccination coverage continued to decline in 2021, with 25 million infants missing out on lifesaving vaccines such as DTP. The decline was due to many factors including an increased number of children living in conflict settings where immunization access is challenging, COVID-19 related service and supply chain disruptions and resource diversion to response efforts.

A girl inside a train used as shelter looks out the window.

The war changed everything for Ukraine’s children, robbing them of stability, safety, their friends. As the fighting moved closer to civilian populations, life for many children moved underground. Relatively protected from the physical horrors unfolding above their heads, children who sought shelter below struggled to piece together some semblance of normalcy. UNICEF brings us the stories of five children whose lives have been upended by the war.

girl in schoolroom

According to a new Education Cannot Wait study, the number of crisis-affected children and adolescents who need education support is estimated at 222 million - much higher than a previous estimate and an alarming trend.

children with dark smoke in the background

Between 2005 and 2020, the United Nations verified over 266,000 grave violations against children committed by parties to conflict situations across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America. The data comes from a new UNICEF report – 25 years of children and armed conflict: Taking action to protect children in war. This figure is a fraction of the violations believed to have occurred, as access and security constraints, and the shame, pain, and fear that survivors suffer often hamper the reporting, documentation and verification of grave violations.

A black and white image of a girl getting a vaccine in her arm while sitting on her mom’s lap.

Images are a testament to the decades-long work UNICEF has been carrying out to ensure that essential supplies reach children and their families. In 1987, a small girl, held by her mother, is vaccinated by a nurse in the village of Köskköy, Turkey. This was part of the final round of a UNICEF-supported child immunization campaign, delivered through UNICEF’s Child Survival and Development Revolution, a global initiative launched in the early 1980s.

A woman and a child with down syndrome sit in the garden blowing at a dandelion

Our mental health is a fundamental part to our overall health and well-being. UNICEF brings expert tips and resources to help parents support their child's and their own mental health.

100 days of war in Ukraine has caused one of the fastest large-scale displacements of children since World War II.

A smiling little girl peeks from behind a wall

Severe wasting, also known as ‘severe acute malnutrition’, is an excruciatingly painful condition – which is caused by a lack of nutritious food and repeated bouts of diseases such as diarrhoea, measles and malaria – that affects millions of children. Children with severe wasting are thin and frail. Their immune systems are weak, leaving them vulnerable to developmental delays, disease and death. UNICEF works with partners across the globe to support the early detection and treatment of children with wasting and other life-threatening forms of malnutrition.

UNICEF Representative Bo Viktor Nylund meets 8-month-old Nur Al-Huda

“When I meet with children, I just see that there's always that glimpse of hope in their eyes and that drive to make a future for themselves.”

Bo Viktor Nylund has always been drawn to complex, difficult places. As the Representative of UNICEF in Syria, he is a passionate advocate for the rights of children growing up in one of the world’s most thorny and protracted crises. Children continue to bear the brunt of Syria’s decade-old conflict, with millions of childhoods shattered through destruction, displacement, and death. Meanwhile, thousands of children of Islamic State fighters, some as young as 12, are being held indefinitely in camps in the country’s north. In this episode, Bo Viktor Nylund reflects on their grim plight and his determination to do right by every Syrian child hoping for a better future through education.

“The situation of the children who have been affiliated with Islamic State is basically a time bomb in the making.”

Photo: ©UNICEF/Syria/ Delil Souleiman

A girl lays with a doll and a teddy bear.

It’s early morning and mothers and their children are arriving at the Family and Child Support Centre for young children from vulnerable families. Waiting inside are social workers who are getting ready to welcome the children. The centre in Istaravshan is one of four converted residential childcare institutions, known as Baby Homes in Tajikistan. With UNICEF’s support, the spaces have been transformed into family centres where vulnerable children can access community and family-based support without being institutionalized.

Portrait of a boy holding a small dog.

The war in Ukraine poses an immediate and growing threat to the lives and well-being of the country’s 7.5 million children. Humanitarian needs are multiplying by the hour as fighting intensifies. Children continue to be killed, wounded and deeply traumatized by the devastating violence all around them. Families are terrified, in shock, and desperate for safety. UNICEF is working with partners to reach vulnerable children and families with essential services – including health, education, protection, water and sanitation – as well as life-saving supplies.

Oleksandra's chilling video diary shows the grave dangers children and young people are facing in Ukraine. UNICEF and partners are working through COVID-19 and conflict to provide urgent support to families. They need peace now.

UNICEF spokesperson sits next to a girl in a shelter

Amid growing international condemnation over Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, tens of thousands of people are still trying to escape to neighbouring countries, fleeing en masse. This has brought huge numbers to the western Ukrainian city of Lviv, where UNICEF’s spokesperson James Elder has been giving an update on the emotional and tense scenes he’s witnessed, to UN News’s Daniel Johnson.