South-South Cooperation for Children

Working together with developing countries to solve the challenges children face

On 11 April 2019 in Beira, Mozambique, Nilda Alberta Massuve, 6, receives her education pack.
UNICEF/James Oatway


Sustainable development poses several challenges for developing countries

A shortage of financial and technological resources makes achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) difficult for developing countries, particularly in the areas of child survival, early childhood development, environmental protection and humanitarian assistance.

Some of the key challenges children face, especially in developing countries, include:

  • Newborns die everyday from mostly preventable causes. In 2018, 2.5 million of the world’s children died in the first month of life.
  • Children are not receiving the nutritious foods and social support they need to grow, develop and thrive.
  • Nearly 50 million children, including adolescents, have been uprooted from their homes due to natural disasters, violence or poverty.
  • Children’s health and development are being harmed by air pollution. Increased risks from chemicals, waste, polluted water and the lack of green and clean spaces for children to play are harming children’s health and development.


UNICEF leverages its global presence and diverse partnerships to find sustainable solutions for developing countries’ greatest challenges

To accelerate the progress of developing countries towards meeting the SDGs, UNICEF supports developing countries to exchange knowledge, technology and resources related to child survival, early childhood development, environmental protection and humanitarian assistance. Some notable examples are listed below.

Knowledge exchange

Supporting meetings, conferences, study tours, trainings and missions

  • An information session on maternal and newborn health at the 2018 High-level Meeting on China-Africa Health Cooperation, prior to the Beijing Forum on China–Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit, and a FOCAC sub-forum on sharing experiences in reducing child poverty in 2019. A webinar co-developed with the China National Health Commission about leveraging South-South cooperation to scale-up solutions for maternal, newborn and child health.
  • A study tour for delegates from Ethiopia and Uganda to rural China to observe a UNICEF early childhood development site using a community-based model.
  • Internship opportunities for young people to participate and learn about Southern-led development projects.

Technological exchange

Sharing innovative products and services

Resource exchange

China’s South-South Cooperation Assistance Fund supports UNICEF projects