UNICEF's stated aims and objectives are "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 initiates programs and projects to achieve these aims and objectives.
UNICEF, the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, strives to promote children's emotional and physical well-being in underdeveloped and disaster-affected areas. It is currently active in more than 190 countries and promotes health and development, child protection, social inclusion and gender equality.
Ongoing health programs include mass immunizations to prevent disease, the promotion and protection of breastfeeding for improved nourishment in infants, the fight against HIV/AIDS to reduce infection and care for the infected and the procurement of healthy drinking water and nourishment.
UNICEF recognizes the importance of education for personal development and advancement and promotes equal opportunities for both genders. In advocating for children's rights, the fund strives to protect children from violence and abuse in the family, child labor, child trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation.
During natural disasters, warfare and crises, UNICEF provides humanitarian relief, shelter, nourishment and psychosocial support. When circumstances allow, the fund organizes educational facilities for children in affected areas.
UNICEF runs separate programs for the well-being of adolescents, including health, HIV education and prevention and the acquisition of skills and abilities for financial independence.