The COVID-19 pandemic was in its early stages at the end of 2019, the period covered by this Annual Results Report. It is now clear that the global crisis triggered by the pandemic is unprecedented and that the impact on children will be severe, especially for the most disadvantaged. Not only are children suffering the direct health effects of the virus, they are the most vulnerable to the socioeconomic impacts of the crisis, and to the disruptions of the basic services on which they rely.
The UNICEF mandate to protect the rights of children, coupled with its capacity to act quickly in key areas such as health and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), and its presence throughout the world, means that the organization is already at the centre
of the global response to the crisis.