WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, U.S. Representatives Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA-01) and Sara Jacobs (D-CA-53) introduced a bipartisan resolution calling upon the United States and the international community to prioritize children, including the work done by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in COVID-19 rebuilding efforts. Last week marked the 75th anniversary of UNICEF. 

The resolution highlights the negative impacts on children worldwide caused by the pandemic and the importance of UNICEF in providing aid to vulnerable populations globally. The non-binding resolution calls upon the United States to increase support for addressing the health and educations needs of every child; urges the Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development, and other agencies to partner with UNICEF; calls for vaccine equity and support for vaccine programs in sub-Saharan Africa; and urges the United States to support Giga, a global initiative to connect every school to the internet. 

UNICEF-USA, Global Partnership for Education, Education Cannot Wait, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, and Global Campaign for Education-US have endorsed the legislation. 

“As we recently celebrated the 75th Anniversary of UNICEF, we are reminded of the critical work they do to protect the well-being of children across the globe. Underserved youth cannot be left out of the equation as the world begins to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am proud to join Rep. Jacobs in urging the United States to increase support to organizations like UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, and the Global Partnership for Education, who are our allies in the mission to ensure that every child has access to educational opportunities and vital health care services,” said Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick.  

“The last two years have been devastating for the world, and we must do everything we can to ensure the needs of children are prioritized as we rebuild from the pandemic. School closures, increased violence and conflict, and loss of loved ones have made the pandemic especially hard on children. I am proud to lead this resolution with Congressman Fitzpatrick to shine a light on the need to put children at the forefront of global recovery efforts and to raise greater awareness of their needs in Congress. The 75th anniversary of UNICEF is an important opportunity to recommit ourselves to helping kids around the world thrive,” said Congresswoman Sara Jacobs. 

“UNICEF’s recent report on the impacts caused by COVID-19 notes that children out of school lose learning and are more exposed to physical, emotional and sexual violence, exploitation and abuse.  Every child has the right to learn, and UNICEF USA commends Reps. Jacobs and Fitzpatrick for this bipartisan resolution on UNICEF’s 75th anniversary calling for greater support for education globally,” said Michael J. Nyenhuis, President and CEO of UNICEF USA.

“As a key partner in JRS/USA’s efforts to increase access to education for children and adolescents who have been forcibly displaced, we commend UNICEF for 75 years of lifesaving work,” said Giulia McPherson, A. “Through its support for Education Cannot Wait, UNICEF has redoubled its efforts to ensure that learners affected by conflict and crisis have access to the services they need. Thank you to Rep. Sara Jacobs and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick for championing this work by introducing this critical resolution as we encourage the U.S. to continue to support these important investments.”

“For 75 years, UNICEF has worked tirelessly to ensure the human right to quality, inclusive education for all children and youth -- especially engaging young people who were previously excluded due to gender, disability, poverty, ethnicity or language, as well as children and youth who have been displaced or affected by emergencies," said Jennifer Rigg, Executive Director of the Global Campaign for Education-US. "We applaud Representatives Sara Jacobs and Brian Fitzpatrick for recognizing UNICEF and encouraging the U.S. to increase support for international partners -- including UNICEF, Education Cannot Wait, and the Global Partnership for Education -- to address the education and related needs of every child."

“As the UN global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, Education Cannot Wait (ECW), fully supports this crucial resolution calling for increased support for ECW’s efforts, and those of our partners, UNICEF and Global Partnership for Education, in delivering life-saving education and health services for every child as the world recovers and builds from the global pandemic,” said Yasmine Sherif, Director of Education Cannot Wait. “For girls and boys already caught in armed conflicts, forced displacement and climate change-induced disasters, COVID-19 represents a true ‘crisis upon crises’; improved access to quality education and health provides them with hope, safety and the opportunity for a better future.”

Covid continues to cause unprecedented disruptions to education, leaving millions of children – especially girls and other vulnerable children – out of school,” said Alex Palacios, Director, North America, Private Sector and Foundations, Global Partnership for Education. “As a critical member of the Global Partnership for Education’s broad public-private partnership, UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to ensure education continues for children around the world. We commend Representatives Sara Jacobs and Brian Fitzpatrick for their call for continued support for global education.”