With Halloween upon us, what could be sweeter than urging your kids to skip the candy and instead collect coins for UNICEF? It’s a grand old tradition, and many of us did it as kids. Even among UN critics, UNICEF — the UN’s children’s fund — often gets a pass as an outfit which must by nature be benevolent and politically benign. It is, after all, dedicated (at least in theory) to children.
Think again. UNICEF may qualify as a brilliant exercise in branding, and it trades on this to hoover up spare change everywhere from hotels to restaurants to airplane flights — all in the name of needy children. But UNICEF itself is no wide-eyed innocent. It is a big UN fund, bathing in government money (more than $255 million last year in U.S. tax dollars alone), and as such it is prone to the same hypocrisies, Potemkin platitudes, and politicized travesties that bedevil the rest of the UN.
For a summing up, it ought to be enough to note that among the 36 member states on UNICEF’s executive board is China — where the one-child policy has led to staggering numbers of sex-selective abortions, and in some cases, the killing of baby girls. Because the UN values geographic diversity, rather than moral integrity, in parceling out seats on its governing boards, UNICEF’s executive board also includes Somalia, Sudan, Belarus, Russia, and Cuba.
What about UNICEF’s policies? Blogger Yid With Lid has just posted a good rundown of some of the problems, under the headline “This Halloween Please Don’t Give Money to Pro-Terror Anti-Capitalism UNICEF!!” The list includes UNICEF’s fondness for Libya’s late Moammar Qaddafi; UNICEF’s funding of Palestinian summer camps where kids are encouraged to become suicide bombers; and anti-Semitic propaganda such as an advertisement produced by a UNICEF-funded Palestinian youth group, featuring the UNICEF logo under a picture of an axe smashing a Star of David, with the command, in Arabic, “Boycott.”
To this, I can add some further items, such as UNICEF’s announcement on its own web site that, partners being “an essential aspect of UNICEF’s work,” its main partner in North Korea is the North Korean government. That would be the same North Korean government whose totalitarian and utterly self-serving policies have resulted in the stunting and starving to death of millions of North Koreans — a great many of those victims being children.
Then there are such items as UNICEF’s solicitation of funds in 2009 via an Iranian bank, Bank Melli, which is blacklisted by the U.S. Treasury for its role in Iran’s proliferation rackets. UNICEF in that case was raising money for aid to Gaza, which is controlled by the Iranian-backed terrorists of Hamas. One might suppose there are better ways to help children than to funnel money to a terrorist-controlled enclave via a proliferation-prone Iranian bank. Apparently, UNICEF didn’t see it that way.
Over and over, UNICEF “partners” with thug regimes, rationalizing that this is necessary in order to deliver aid to deprived children. But UNICEF is prone to becoming so enthusiastic in its partnering that it ends up promoting precisely the dictators and thugs who cause so much suffering among children in the first place.
Earlier this month, UNICEF handed out a regional award for children’s broadcasting in the Middle East and North Africa. The winner? Iran.
Yes, the same Iran that leads the world in juvenile executions. Iran was celebrated by UNICEF under the press release headline: “Iran wins the Regional UNICEF Award for International Children’s Day of Broadcasting.” What a sweet propaganda gift for Tehran’s theocratic ruling thugs, who had just jailed an Iranian actress for three months and were threatening her with 90 lashes because she had appeared in a movie without wearing a head scarf.
While partnering with Kim Jong Il, praising Iran and bankrolling Palestinian groups putting out anti-Semitic propaganda and encouraging genocidal jihad against Israel, UNICEF is already raking in plenty of U.S. tax dollars from the U.S. government. This Halloween, if the kids want to collect coins for hungry children, surely there are private charities that can better manage the trick of delivering treats?