VIDEO: Living Under Israel’s Missiles

Four boys of the Bakr family were killed by a missile strike during last year’s incursion. Their surviving family members are still scarred from the attack.

More than anyone, children bear the brunt of regular Israeli military assaults on the Gaza Strip. During the 51-day war in the summer of 2014, 551 children were killed and 3,436 were injured. But these gruesome figures say little about the psychological state of the nearly 800,000 children who have survived the periodic bombing campaigns. After the final cease-fire that ended Israel’s Operation Protective Edge on August 26 of last year, UNICEF estimated that at least 425,000 Palestinian children in the besieged Gaza Strip require “immediate psychosocial and child protection support.”

The physical wounds of Gaza children might have healed, but they live with enduring psychological trauma ]


Four weeks after the terrible attacks in Peshawar, children all across Pakistan returned to school today. We wish these brave girls and boys the best of luck in their studies and reiterate our commitment to help them achieve their educational goals in a safe and friendly environment! Via Unicef Pakistan.

Polio is on its last legs.

The disease that once paralyzed hundreds of thousands of kids a year around the globe is now down to just a few dozen cases this year. “We are aiming to halt all transmission of wild polio virus next year,” says Peter Crowley, the head of UNICEF’s global efforts against polio.

If polio is stopped, it will be only the second human disease to be eliminated. Smallpox was the first — the last case was in 1977.

There’s reason to be optimistic that this gigantic feat of public health is within humanity’s grasp. The World Health Organization says polio transmission has stopped for the first time ever in Africa. Last month, Africa’s last bastion of polio — Nigeria — celebrated going an entire year without recording any new cases.

Next Year Could Mark The End Of Polio

Graphic: Jason Beaubien and Alyson Hurt/NPR

He’s alive! #Ebola survivor Sanfa, 14, caught the the virus while at school in Sierra Leone, a two hour walk from his home village. When news came back from several health officials that he had died, a traditional funeral ceremony was organised, mourners shared a meal and food was set aside to feed his spirit on its journey to the next life. But rumours began to reach the community that he was alive - and when Sanfa returned, the entire village turned out to welcome him.

Elynn Walter is an activist whose mission is to improve hygiene in low-income countries. She works with the group WASH Advocates (WASH stands for “water, sanitation and hygiene”). Her issue is critical: Across the developing world, tens of millions of girls face major difficulties managing their monthly period. According to UNICEF, more than half of schools in the poorest countries lack private toilets. And unlike teenage girls in well-off countries, many in the developing world can’t afford (or even find) tampons and pads.

But addressing the problem is a challenge, says Walter, because even otherwise level-headed experts on poverty tend to get squeamish when the talk turns to periods. In fact, Walter thinks the squeamishness over menstrual hygiene is a big reason global health and development advocates ignored the subject for decades.

People Are Finally Talking About The Thing Nobody Wants To Talk About

Photo credit: Courtesy of Be Girl Inc.
Caption: Schoolgirls in Ethiopia examine a new feminine product: underwear with a pocket for a menstrual pad.

“I love Messi because he plays very well. When I am big, I will play like him.” Our colleagues from UNICEF Burundi came across Leo Messi fan 7-year-old Jean-Petit (second from right) playing football with his friends in the small village of Rushubi. Their ball was carefully handmade from plastic bags wrapped in rubber bands. Every child has the right to play!


UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Audrey Hepburn visits Somalia, September 19–24, 1992 Audrey made her final field visit for UNICEF. She travelled to Somalia, which was caught in the middle of civil war and the worst drought in its history. From there, Audrey flew to Kenya, where many of the Somali refugees had travelled. In northern Kenya, she visited various refugee camps and emergency programmes. Finally, she flew to Nairobi, where she met with press to discuss her experiences.