UNICEF-Belgium wishes to consolidate a 300,000-euro emergency fund so as to be ready whenever a critical situation arises. To replenish the fund, it hopes to rely on 30 companies and bring together the various stakeholders, UNICEF-Belgium said on Wednesday in a press release. The initiative is supported by the Federation of Enterprises of Belgium (FEB).
Seventy years after its creation, the UN Children’s Fund’s reason for existing remains just as strong. Today, 535 million children live in areas affected by emergencies. Whether suffering from starvation in the Horn of Africa, war in Syria, or natural disasters like the hurricanes that have slammed Central America and the Caribbean, these children need vital services such as food, medication or drinking water to be restored quickly. These essential services are at the heart of UNICEF’s daily action.
“But education, protection and reconstruction are just as essential,” UNICEF-Belgium stressed. “We do not only repair, we also rebuild.”
To provide this type of aid, building back infrastructure and making it better, the children’s fund is seeking the support of companies.
“The 30 for 300,000 initiative wishes to create a real dynamic and bring together the stakeholders and actors of our society in order to provide children affected by emergencies with effective aid,” said Olivier Marquet, Director-General of UNICEF-Belgium. “In this context, companies are the partners par excellence of UNICEF, because they have a determining influence on the lives of children and can play an essential role in obtaining sustainable results. The partnerships that we are forging with the business world therefore go beyond sponsorship.”
In concrete terms, UNICEF is looking for 30 companies that would each make a one-off contribution of 10,000 euros to the emergency fund. UNICEF, in turn, would give them its Corporate Supporter label “which will grant them a certain recognition with their partners, suppliers and customers”.
The FEB is supporting this initiative “with conviction”, according to its director, Pieter Timmermans. “Companies feel closely concerned by the ever-increasing needs of children affected by crisis situations worldwide,” he said. “Through this active support for UNICEF, we aim to make tangible the values that we defend.”
Timmermans added that his Agfa company “is the first to have pledged to support this Emergency Fund.”