The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

For every child, a champion!

In UNICEF, you will make a difference in the lives of every child together with dedicated and passionate colleagues. Our mandate inspires us to achieve results, keep standards high, to grow and develop professionally as well as personally.

Apply for a job with us and make a better future, for every child. 

For every child, make a difference

We are determined to make a difference and defend the rights for every child in 190 countries worldwide, every day, everywhere

“I was most excited the day I receive my UNICEF offer letter because my role is exactly in line with my life goals.”

For every child, a calling

We are committed, passionate and proud of what we do. Promoting the rights of every child is not a job, it’s a calling.

“Moving around the world to serve children has changed my perspectives and life forever”

For every child, inspire

We operate in a dynamic and multicultural context which gives us the opportunity to exhibit our skills to the highest with the freedom to innovate.  

“I work with passionate people from different backgrounds world-wide dedicating their lives for the better for the children”

Please find below voices of UNICEF international staff members and insight into the way the organization works, day by day, to improve the lives of individual children around the world.

Hamida Ramadhani – Deputy Representative in Iraq

For every child, hope.

What is one of your memorable experiences working for UNICEF?

Two years ago I was working as a Deputy Representative in Syria and parents from a part of a country that was under the control of anti-government groups approached UNICEF via our partners with one request.

“We need your help to get our daughters out of here so that they can go sit for the secondary schools’ national exams in [then government controlled] Aleppo,” they said.

Girls in this hard to reach area were unable to go to schools due to the restrictions imposed by the armed groups, but a group of 50 girls studied at home and their parents were willing to risk their lives to cross dangerous checkpoints in order to get them to where they needed to sit for exams and pursue higher education.

As a mother, I was incredibly moved by the parents’ request and the value they placed on girls’ education.

Working with our partners we managed to support these girls with accommodation, extra tuition and other needs when they reached Aleppo. I cried when I met them and they told me how hard they had been studying at home and how important these exams were to them.  I will never forget these brave girls and their parents. They are a constant reminder that we must not take anything for granted.

What advice do you have for women currently in an emergency context?

My advice is to keep the connection with loved one at home alive. Technology has made this easier than ever before. Knowing that my family are just one call or one WhatsApp message away reduces feelings of isolation and loneliness. I could not do what I do without the support of my spouse and family. I talk to them about my work and the people I meet so that they feel like they are a part of my daily life irrespective of whether I am in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan or Somalia.

What are the main benefits/challenges of working in an emergency context?

There are a lot of challenges. The needs of vulnerable children and their families are often acute and urgent and we work long hours, including weekends to support a lifesaving response.  Seeing the immediate results and knowing that we delivered safe drinking water to a community that had no water and the education of children is maintained during an emergency is rewarding and inspiring.

What role does diversity play in working in an emergency context?

Diversity in all its shapes and forms are very important. Having a right balance people of different backgrounds, gender and ethnicity add value to an emergency operation. I’ve been in situations where women who have suffered from gender-based violence felt more comfortable talking to me about their issues and needs than they did with male colleagues. They could relate to me as a woman and trusted me to take up their cause.

Angela Kearney – Representative in Pakistan

For every child, laughter

What is one of your memorable experiences working for UNICEF? 

Sleeping on a block of wood in Tacloban, Philippines  – and sharing the flat wood with a consultant photographer from New York. It was raining outside and none of the UNICEF staff who were up in the typhoon area had beds for the first few days. It was real comraderie and commitment and also fun although stressful. When I got up in the early morning I saw one of our drivers sleeping on two white plastic chairs. That was his bed so I was lucky with my wood.

What advice do you have for women currently in an emergency context?

Always try to find fun. Seek out friendship and support. Laugh out loudly at least once a day. Pack carefully and take lots of wet wipes. Exercise and if possible with friends and eat wisely. Try and find fresh fruit and veggies. Always take care of kitchen staff – they are the ones to keep you healthy.

What are the main benefits/challenges of working in an emergency context?

Amazing professional satisfaction. Opportunities to keep on learning and growing professionally.

What does your typical work day look like?

Now I am a Representative so the day in Pakistan is very different to an emergency. Remembering back to Afghanistan in 2002 and the Back to School Campaign it was a feeling of amazing hard work and total fun and commitment. Our living conditions were not so great with sharing bedrooms and also eating in one location that was different to the office and also home but it was fun and exciting and very professionally interesting. Seeing Afghan women working in the warehouse to make up the Back to School kits and organizing a competition with the male packers to see who could pack more kits per day and of course, it was the women who won. Then on 21 March 2002 to see millions of boys and girls walking down the streets with their UNICEF backpacks on was a truly glorious sight.

What role does diversity play in working in an emergency country context?

Diversity is important – we need both men and women colleagues as well as from different countries and professional as well as personal backgrounds. We need to be reminded of the Oath we sign when accepting contracts to work in the UN. Accountability and transparency are important. We all bring different skills and that gives us amazing opportunities as well as challenges

Rebecca Pankhurst Lapina – Chief Field Services UNICEF Myanmar

For every child, hope!

What is one of your most memorable experiences working for UNICEF?

There are many to choose from. One of my most memorable experiences is from my first post with UNICEF as an Emergency Specialist working in Guinea Conakry. I was managing a program to reintegrate 2,000 former child soldiers. With UNICEF’s support, the Guinean Government had identified places for the former child soldiers in state vocational training centers. Quite early on I went to visit one of the centers and on arrival I was met by a small group of former child soldiers, adolescent boys who were frustrated and angry because there had been a delay in delivering food to the host families they were staying with. One of them, who I will call the ‘ringleader’, told me that if he wanted to he could kill me. I didn’t feel too much at risk –  one of UNICEF’s Guinean staff was present, who was very experienced, as were the local partner providing psychosocial support. I felt that they were venting their frustrations in the language they knew best, which was one of violence. Together we managed to calm them down.

A few months later I saw the ringleader at an event at the vocational training center. He had started his studies and was doing well. As I address the former child soldiers, now students, he gave me a cheeky smile and stepped up to shake my hand.

What advice do you have for women currently working in an emergency context?

My key piece of advice to women working in an emergency context is to take care of yourself. Build things into your daily routine that make you feel good – a good coffee first thing in the morning, 15 minutes of yoga or meditation before you go to sleep (there are many sites that you can download and then play offline when the internet connection is bad), a chat with a good friend. Take holidays regularly – spend time with your family and friends and do things you enjoy that refresh and recharge you.

Emergency work is often exciting and rewarding, but it is also draining. There will always be huge work demands, but if you want to really help children in crises you also need to help yourself, so you can stay centered and strong. Particularly as you may face challenges that are specific to women – unfortunately, discrimination and harassment of women aid workers are a continuing reality. Although sometimes emergency work feels like a sprint, in reality, it is a marathon – more and more crises around the world are protracted – and you need to have the stamina and also make sure you remain intact!

What are the main benefits/challenges of working in an emergency context?

One of the main benefits is that you can see how the work that UNICEF is doing is helping women and children – whether it is supporting the health and dignity of women and children in IDP camps, saving lives by working with our partners to combat public health crises or reunifying children separated by conflict or disaster with their families. It is incredibly rewarding and satisfying to feel that you are helping children.

One of the main challenges is that you can feel like you never did enough. You will know that there are families out there still caught in the crossfire of conflict, children who have lost not only their family but the entire childhood, the pregnant woman in a far-off village who did not get vaccinated. And the underlying challenges are huge – often you can feel helpless in the face of conflict that has been ongoing for years or in some cases decades, or a country that cannot significantly improve preparedness (stronger schools, safer hospitals, safer homes) because of long-running poverty. You wish that there was more you could do to stop the conflict or address long-running poverty. But you have to remind yourself that there is immense value in saving one life (imagine it was you, your father, mother, husband or brother) and that addressing the longer-term issues takes time and patience.  

When I look at the challenges we are facing today – protracted crises, growing tensions and fissures in so many societies along racial and religious times – I see even more the importance of working and struggling for what we believe in in the face of adversity. I am reminded of the quote “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”  

What does your typical work day look like? 

It depends! A day might consist of back-to-back meetings with UNICEF, other UN agencies, NGO partners and government. It could consist of working – by myself or in a team – to draft the latest situation report. These days I spend quite a lot of time managing others. The days I like most are when I am in the field – visiting children and women who UNICEF has helped, talking to frontline workers – teachers, nurses, counsellors – to understand their challenges and how we can help them, or forging relationships with partners – government, non-state actors – who are key in fact core to the work that we do, seeing the good that has been done and brainstorming with UNICEF and partners on how we can fix the challenges.

What role does diversity play in working in an emergency context?

Diversity is very important in an emergency context, including ensuring a good balance of genders and nationalities. We each come with our own experiences and understanding and they are even more valuable when they come from a diverse range of backgrounds.

 Narine Aslanyan – Deputy Representative UNICEF Libya

For every child, equal opportunities to survive and thrive

What is one of your memorable experience working for UNICEF?

At the beginning of January 2014 I was traveling to Gambella region of Ethiopia for an emergency preparedness mission in my capacity of the Emergency Specialist of UNICEF Ethiopia country office. UNICEF’s emergency team has anticipated that the power struggle between President Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar would result into displacement of the South Sudanese refugees to Ethiopia. Therefore, I was tasked to review the contingency plan, including the situation of health centres, schools, and other local government institutions at the border entry points to Ethiopia.

On that particular day, I was on my way to Pagak village situated at the border between Ethiopia and South Sudan which was around two-hour drive from Gabmella city – capital of Gambella region. It was a beautiful sunny day. While buying sweet mangos on the road, after an interesting dialogue with colleagues, and while having this inspiring music at the background, it did not cross our minds what we might face and see later. As we approached Pagak, I was surprised to notice an unusual crowd of people. As we drove closer and closer, I could see thousands of women sitting on the ground along and off the road, while thousands of children were playing in the pullulated river stream under the trees and bushes, running along the road. It took me a while to realise and understand what had happened – as expected the war in South Sudan has displaced women and children to Ethiopia, while the men stayed behind fighting. The vulnerability of these displaced people was extreme – they did not have food or water, carrying a small bag with few personal items, children had hardly any clothes and only few of them had plastic flip-flops.

I remember, I got out of the car and worked along the road to get a reception on my cell phone while surrounded by children calling me “khavaja” and trying to hold my hand. I called our office to update my colleagues of the situation. I could not find words to express what I was looking at “Thousands”, I said, “thousands and thousands women and children are at Pagak border crossing point and they all need immediate assistance to survive”.  Within the next two days UNICEF team with its partners had significantly strengthened the capacity of the health post at Pagak, started nutrition screening of the children, measles vaccination campaigns and established child-friendly spaces.

What advice do you have for women currently in an emergency context?

Be positive, pragmatic but always critical. The worst that can happen to any humanitarian aid worker is to accept the status quo as normality; accept the suboptimal quality of humanitarian programmes, delays in the delivery of assistance, apathy of service providers and conformity to the situation. Children affected by disaster have equal rights and higher needs to survive and thrive regardless all the challenges and circumstances. Humanitarian aid workers can only make a difference by not give up and demanding the highest attainable care and services, compassion and support for disaster-affected children and their families.

What are the main benefits / challenges of working in an emergency context?

There will be scenes that will follow you all your life – scenes of tragedy, extreme human suffering and destitute. But at the same time, you will have this incredibly rewarding feeling that makes you wake up every morning and get into spiral of never ending work. The commitment to deliver more and better will grow, after you see a child finally receiving her school bag delivered by UNICEF and entering the classroom made of coagulated iron sheets in the refugee camp that has only been finished the night before.

What does your typical work day look like?

Currently, I am the Deputy Representative of UNICEF Libya.  My job could seem like a regular office job – I arrive to the office in the morning, switch on my computer, answer my emails, review documents and meet people. However, there is something particular about my day and that is the “purpose’ to deliver care for vulnerable women and children. I need to ensure that we have resources to continue implementing the humanitarian programmes. I need to review the documents of UNICEF partners programme proposal and ensure that they have mobilized all the effort to start deliver service in the conflict affected cities of Libya. I have to review the data to ensure that UNICEF truly impacting lives of the displaced children and their families.  I need to ensure that all the government stakeholders are aware about UNICEF programmes while UNICEF programme team remains focused on delivering programmes that takes into account the vulnerabilities and needs of the children. The scope and scale of my work is wide, though often demanding and challenging, it is always rewarding and inspiring.

What role does diversity play in working in an emergency country context?

Diversity is a key in the context of the humanitarian crisis. The motivation of travel out of the comfort of our own family, town and country and try to understand a different culture of the host country – not just for the intellectual discourse – to make a difference in the lives of people in peril as a part of  a multinational diverse team. After working with so many diverse teams, definitely I can saw that diversity allows to overcome problems, sometimes to think out of the box, creating innovative ways and solutions to complex situations.

For every child, equal opportunities to survive and thrive

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For every child, commitment.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce, and encourages qualified candidates from all backgrounds to apply. At UNICEF we believe in diversity, because:

1. It brings a varied range of views to the table that contributes to a more rounded decision making process based on varied experiences and capabilities;

2. It reduces blind spots we may (not even know we) have, in considering our workplace behaviors, managerial career, performance and other discussions and decisions affecting staff

3. It contributes significantly to improving communication and creates an inclusive environment, which in turn contributes to increasing staff engagement as various groups of staff feel visible, and therefore have a stake in overall business strategy execution and organizational success;

4. It increases organizational access to the perhaps not so visible networks that may exist; 

5. It increases sensitivity and responsiveness to the partners, clients and broader internal and external population that we serve; and last but not least

6. Diversity at senior levels also serve to provide leadership and professional role models for staff in their career aspirations, that can be motivating and help with staff retention.

For every child, a champion!

If you are committed, creative professional, are passionate about making a lasting difference for children and are comfortable working in a challenging environment, the world’s leading children’s rights organization would like to hear from you.

UNICEF is committed to diversity and inclusion within its workforce and encourages qualified female and male candidates from all national, religious and ethnic backgrounds, including persons living with disabilities, to apply to become a part of our organization.

For every child, a talent!

For 70 years, UNICEF has been working on the ground in 190 countries and territories to promote children’s survival, protection and development. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.

UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. As a global authority, UNICEF is able to influence decision makers at the global level and turn the most innovative ideas into reality.

More than 13,000 staff work with UNICEF, with approximately 85 per located in the field in 190 countries. Seven regional offices and over 124 country offices worldwide, 24 national committees, a research centre in Florence, a supply division in Copenhagen and offices in Tokyo, Berlin and Brussels and UNICEF headquarters in New York and Geneva work on helping children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.

We employ committed professional to work in our focus areas: Child Survival and Development, Basic Education and Gender Equality, Child Protection and Inclusion, Policy Advocacy and Partnerships. We also employ staff with expertise in administration and finance, human resources, information technology, supply and logistics as well as external relations and communication. UNICEF’s presence in humanitarian crises means that we also seek experts in emergency preparedness and response.

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Company Statistics

Date established

11 December 1946


New York City

Number of employees