Friday,26 April, 2019
Current issue | Issue 1324, (15 - 21 December 2016)
Friday,26 April, 2019
Issue 1324, (15 - 21 December 2016)

Ahram Weekly


Compiled by Doaa El-Bey

Al-Ahram Weekly

UNICEF: 70 years of hope for children

Seventy years ago, the world’s largest children’s organisation was established to bring help and hope to children suffering in the aftermath of WWII. On its 70th anniversary, UNICEF has every right to celebrate the great progress it has achieved for the world’s children.

UNICEF was established by the UN General Assembly on 11 December 1946 to help children in post-war Europe, China and the Middle East. Funded entirely through voluntary contributions from governments, civil society, the private sector and concerned citizens, it rapidly expanded its reach and by 1955 was working for children in more than 90 countries.

UNICEF’s relentless engagement in the world’s toughest places has helped create remarkable progress for children in recent decades. After its establishment, UNICEF provided emergency nutrition aid, mainly in the form of milk, to children in post-war Europe. In 2015, the organisation managed to treat 2.9 million children for severe acute malnutrition worldwide.

In the 1950s, UNICEF led its first immunisation campaigns against diseases such as tuberculosis and yaws. In 2015, the organisation obtained 2.8 billion doses of vaccines, and with its partners helping to protect 45 per cent of children under five years old worldwide from a range of deadly diseases. In 1998, UNICEF became a founding member of the Roll Back Malaria Partnership to support malaria treatment and research, and expand prevention measures such as long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets. In 2015, UNICEF procured 22.3 million bed nets to protect children and families in 30 countries.

In 1961, UNICEF expanded its programmatic focus to include education. In 2015, UNICEF and its partners provided 7.5 million children aged three to 18 with access to formal or non-formal basic education.

However, UNICEF still has a great job ahead of it: Reaching millions of children whose lives and futures are endangered by conflict, crisis, poverty, inequality and discrimination in the four corners of the world. Nearly 250 million children are growing up in countries affected by conflict and nearly 50 million children have been uprooted from their homes.

The organisation’s vision for the next 70 years is a world in which every child is healthy, safe, educated, cared for and protected.

And, given UNICEF’s achievements in the last 70 years, it may just be possible.

“While we celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, I wonder how we compare our behaviour to Prophet Mohamed’s. We’ve lost the basic manners and rushed to make a quick profit by unethical means. We ended up creating a black market for all goods. As a result, we paid dearly as the black market of the US dollar raised its price in the banks above its actual value leading to a mad rise in prices of all goods. In addition, the scarcity of sugar led to a gradual rise in its price until it reached LE18 for the kilo. It is the lack of morals that has led to the crisis we are in today. Our behaviour shames us before you, Prophet Mohamed.”
Ahmed Shalabi, Al-Akhbar

Our hands are tied

“We know, or think we know, who is supporting the different factions involved in the bloody conflict in Syria. We know who is backing the armed militias fighting the Syrian government and the international powers fighting these militias. We also know who supports the Syrian government. What we do not know for sure is who supports the Syrian people, the party that has paid most dearly for the conflict.”
Mustafa Kamel Al-Sayed, Al-Shorouk

Where can we get the money from?

“Egypt’s Grand Mufti Shawki Allam stated that consuming Moulid sweets for the Prophet’s birthday is not prohibited by Islam, in response to Salafis who declared it so. The question remains, however, where do we get the money needed to buy the sweets in the first place?”
Abdel-Kader Mohamed Ali, Al-Akhbar

A hateful attack 

“We will hear, in the aftermath of that hateful terrorist act, hollow slogans and regurgitated remarks with strong condemnations. That is natural and expected, but I wish we could learn a lesson or two about preventing such incidents in the future.”
Emadeddin Hussein, Al-Shorouk

“It would be absurd to say that the terrorist act that left dozens dead or injured next to the cathedral in Abbassiya took place on the Prophet’s birthday. Or that the propitious occasion did not stop the perpetrators from targeting that place at that time in particular. It would be absurd to think it makes a difference to terrorists whether their victims fall on the Prophet’s birthday or on Christmas Day.”
Suleiman Gouda, Al-Masry Al-Youm
“What happened at the cathedral came two days after a similar incident on Al-Haram Street; that reflects that the terrorists have one target: Shedding blood, causing destruction and shaking the country’s stability. They want to show that the state is incapable of protecting the country or the people. However, Egypt, with its Christian and Muslim citizens, has to confront these terrorists in spite of everything. Our deepest condolences to the families of the dead and to all Egyptians.”
Hazem Al-Hadidi, Al-Akhbar

Egyptian Essence: 24 civilians dead

“The Ministry of Health declared that the victims of the cathedral attack reached 24 persons on Monday after the death of a 40-year old lady who was detained in Al-Demerdash hospital.”
Al-Youm Al-Sabei


“The martyrs of the cathedral are not what those terrorists are after. The terrorists are after the country itself. Don’t let them achieve what they want.”
Hamdi Gomaa
“Yes, they are after Egypt. They committed terrorist acts on Friday and on Sunday. No difference. ”
Afaf Salib


Sarah Abdallah @sahouraxo  
Heartbreaking aftermath of the bomb blast inside Saint Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in #Cairo, #Egypt. At least 25 dead, mostly women & children.

Nermeen Youssef @Cleo2atra  
For perspective: The cathedral bombed in #Egypt today for Copts is equivalent to the Vatican for Catholics.

Bel Trew @Beltrew  
“The people demand the fall of the regime” furious crowds are screaming at the police after rush - outside cathedral hit by bombing. #Cairo

Lauren Bohn @LaurenBohn 
Twin bombing outside Istanbul soccer stadium kills 29, wounds 166; now hearing reports of bomb blast at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Cairo.

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