April 2024

Don’t waste your money on UNICEF. It goes to greedy bureaucrats, not starving children!

(Friday/weekend blog)

An almost Covid-19-free blog.

Don’t waste your money on UNICEF

Probably you’ve seen a flood of ads on your TV for UNICEF. The Chinese Covid-19 plague has given UNICEF (and loads of other supposed ‘charities) a new excuse to extract money from us.

On the Charity Commission website UNICEF UK claims:


Here’s the usual stuff UNICEF UK uses as emotional extortion:

And we’re asked to text something like ‘hunger’ or ‘water’ or whatever to give just £3 which will apparently feed a starving child for a week.

In fact, I suspect that little if any of that £3 will go anywhere near a starving child. What UNICEF UK are probably doing is what many charities do – harvesting mobile phone numbers to put on a ‘suckers list’. Then the charities will usually hand over these mobile numbers to a privately-owned, profit-making call-centre company who will phone the numbers on the ‘suckers list’ to try and get them to set up direct debits to the charity. The call-centre staff and directors will also probably get paid bonuses depending on how many direct debits they manage to get us to set up. Many of these call-centre bosses are multi-millionaires.

Money, money, money

But I have other concerns with UNICEF UK.

UNICEF UK raises and spends about £100,000,000 a year. On the Charity Commission website, UNICEF UK claims that all this £100,000,000 is “Charitable spending”. But when you look closer, you see there is also something called “Charitable activities”. UNICEF UK only spends about £63,000,000 on ‘Charitable activities’. The other £37,000,000 goes to fundraising and management expenses. So, only about £6 out of every £10 given to UNICEF UK could possibly reach starving children.

In fact, UNICEF UK spends £3 out of every £10 it raises on raising funds. That’s not a hugely efficient way of giving your money to real charitable activities. Moreover, about £7,000,000 each year seems to go to what UNICEF UK calls ‘UK advocacy’. I think that means political activities in the UK. So, perhaps the amount possibly reaching those starving children may only be around £5.60 of every £10 raised? And once you take away the money UNICEF UK uses for stuff like ‘Gender equality’ and ‘Social inclusion’ (heaven knows what they are?) and other such fashionable woke stuff, probably only about half of all money given to UNICEF UK could possibly go to what most of us would consider real charitable activity.

Big boss – big money?

UNICEF UK’s bosses don’t seem to have huge salaries. The Executive Director only gets about £125,000 a year plus a pension contribution of just over £10,000 a year – thus around £135,000 a year. And there are 3 or 4 others on over £100,000 a year. But you have to remember that UNICEF UK employees benefit from being part of the United Nations and therefore are reimbursed any income taxes they pay in the countries where they work. That makes the Executive Director’s modest £135,000 into a more impressive pile of cash paid for from our generous donations.

Perpetuating poverty?

And finally, one could ask if UNICEF are actually solving Third-world problems or perpetuating them. You’ve seen this chart before many times:

The population of Africa is doubling about every 22 years. There are about 1.2 billion Africans now. By 2050, there will be over 3 billion Africans. How are we going to house, feed and find jobs for the extra 1.8 billion Africans who will be born between now and the middle of this century?

Maybe, instead of encouraging Africans to have ever more children, UNICEF should actually be using our money to encourage birth control?

Don’t forget corruption

I’m currently reading a book called “THE LOOTING MACHINE”. It details how Africa could be the richest continent in the world but instead is just a total sh*t-hole of misery and hopelessness while Africa’s kleptocratic rulers steal tens of billions every year. Estimates by Transparency International suggest that each year Africa’s rulers steal three times as much money as their countries receive in aid, charity and foreign investment.

If we could just cut African corruption by say half, we could stop all foreign aid and charity, Africa’s rulers could still all become billionaires and African people would be better off than they are now.

A few years ago, I made a short YouTube video about where our aid and charity money really goes:


12 comments to Don’t waste your money on UNICEF. It goes to greedy bureaucrats, not starving children!

  • A Thorpe

    Well said, and a great video. But I think the video shows there is as much corruption outside Africa. The money only goes there because our own useless governments allow and support it. Give a starving child £3 for food today and they will still be starving tomorrow. It is just the same with the homeless on our streets.

    I only give to two charities and they do not do anything abroad. Charities are essentially unaccountable, but with regular donors they do report to them and they have to convince them that the money is being well used. What I object to is our taxes going to charities here, turning them into part of the welfare state.

    Africa needs investment but it will not get it with the corrupt socialist leaders. But it first needs education. You criticise China, but it is educating its population and has brought in investment resulting in less poverty. However, the population is so large that even with its huge GDP there are still many poor people. Africa has a long way to go and it is going in the wrong direction.

    The chance of this changing is now less because of the insane damage to our own economy, not by a virus, but by our own incompetent politicians. We are heading to third world levels of poverty as the response to getting back to work now reveals. There is only one way forwards and that is a revolt against everything the government is imposing on us.

  • Stillreading

    Excellent blog and a great video and well said Thorpe. I bought David’s “The Great Charity Scandal” several years ago and it’s a pity it isn’t more widely read. To the lazy-minded as well as the genuinely well-intentioned, it is only too easy to respond to images of enormous-eyed starving African children by texting a few pounds to a phone number – after all, if it’s advertised on TV it must be legit, mustn’t it? And you don’t even have to get up from your armchair in order to feel good! Then it’s equally easy, while enjoying an evening tipple and aided by guilt, to allow yourself to be persuaded by a subsequent phone call to sign an ongoing Direct Debit for a few pounds a month. Almost all to pay Charity officers’ salaries and expenses and to further enrich the likes of Mugabe! Great stuff!
    As for the “return to normality” in the UK, signs are already emerging of what have all along been foreseeable problems. Fear has been actively encouraged to take control of every action, every thought. Already teachers – mainly it appears of primary school children – are objecting to returning to work. As far as the teachers themselves are concerned, about time they put considerations of their own “safety” aside, just as all NHS workers have been during for the past 3 months. Regarding children, let them go back to school and mix and mingle and play and quarrel and fall over in the playground and sustain cuts and bruises just as children have done for generations. To impose “social distancing” on little children is, in my view, nothing short of cruelty. As for workers in industry, Frances O’Grady is already stirring things up nicely. Why risk your “safety” to return to work when you can remain furloughed until the end of the year at Public expense? It might only be 80% but think what you save by not having to travel to work? (There’s an example of this I’m ashamed to say in my own family.) The UK is well set on an inexorable route to total economic destruction. What is truly terrifying to contemplate objectively is the absolute ease with which a handful of questionably competent politicians, aided by few scientists of equally questionable competence, have been able, purely through fear, to subdue 65,000,000 citizens into compliance with a regime of virtually total abnegation of personal freedom of movement. I would genuinely never have believed 6 months ago that a Nation which within my lifetime has proudly stood up, in isolation for several years, to Nazism, would be such an easy pushover. Our enemies are doubtless watching and drawing conclusions which will not be to our benefit.

  • Stillreading

    ….part of a sentence at end of para 1 seems to have disappeared. Should have read “…aided by guilt to be persuaded to set up a monthly Direct Debit for a few pounds.”

  • Ed P

    If only that £3 actually reached a child. The country’s agents, field workers & village elders will have taken their cut before a single penny helps feed a child, with perhaps some of the remaining 50p.

  • chris

    A long time ago I used to regularly give money to the Donkey Sanctuary. At the time, I naively believed that Charities actually did something charitable in the physical world. Well, the Donkey Sanctuary still operates a (well funded) mono species zoo and land purchase company. But as far as I can see Charities are a type of fraud. They often misrepresent what they will do with your donation. I believe there are around 700 cancer charities yet where is the cure? Surely after more than 50 years of research we ought to have eliminated cancer. Charities ‘eat’ money and dont contribute to the economy. Charities create a lot of valueless (often unpaid) jobs in fund raising, advertising and management. Economically it would be preferable to eliminate charities and just add say 1% to income tax. The money then deducted could be voted specifically to the relevant research or foreign aid (or even hay for donkeys)

  • Roy Hartwell

    Of course, it looks very easy to just type in a simple code on your phone and send £3 to whatever. That is just the starter!!
    They now have your contact details and know you can be tapped up easily! There will swiftly follow more and more requests for more and more money using more and more sob stories.
    These people are not charities but professional blaggers!!

  • TruthVision

    Why does anyone believe anything the BBC(BritishBullshitCorporation) says?

    BBC Reports 911, WTC 7 Collapse BEFORE it Happens.

  • gooolag

    UKC News: Government Now Scrambling to Justify Disastrous Lockdown Policy.

    As the summer fast approaches and the threat of the Coronavirus rapidly subsides, government spin doctors are becoming increasingly desperate to hammer home a failing narrative. In order to do this, more power is being devolves to the security services and spying agencies – including the creation of a new agency in order to elevate the concept of a “bio threat” in the eyes of the public. Are the government preparing the public for a new “War on Terror” security theatre? Meanwhile, the real facts continue to reveal themselves – clearly demonstrating that many excess deaths are a direct result of lockdown policy, but also that this COVID-19 epidemic has turned out to be no more deadly than a bad influenza season. All this and more.

  • BoristheLoris

    End the lockdown, cut the green crap… Here’s five things the UK government should do now to get us out of the mess they created.
    The economic Armageddon that’s been caused by our botched response to Covid-19 needs quick and decisive action to combat it. Here’s my blueprint for Boris Johnson (and any other Western leader who needs it).
    Dear Boris,

    I trust you are well, especially after that nasty bout of Covid-19. And I hope baby Wilfred isn’t keeping you up at night. However, the state of the UK’s economy should be giving you a touch of insomnia.

    After all, it shrank by two percent in the first quarter of this year, and a whopping 5.8 percent in March compared to the month before. That’s the biggest one-month drop on record. Given that we were only in lockdown from March 23, the figures for April – and indeed, the rest of the year – are bound to be awful.

    If the pandemic was an emergency, the state of the economy is even more worrying. I won’t go on about your actions having caused it – except to say that THEY DID – as we are where we are, sadly. So, in a spirit of helpfulness, here are five things that I think you should do to turn things around.

  • Ken Stells

    Dear David,
    You might be interested in a story regarding the World Wildlife Fund. I have a friend who owns a Rhino farm in South Africa. He has 1500 animals-enough to supply the entire Chinese market for horns. You can cut the horn off a Rhino and it does not bother them. He approached the WWF and said he is able to stop the poaching of wild Rhinos with his supply. The WWF rejected his offer because they make far too much money fooling people that there is a poaching problem that needs to be stopped and they can only do it with your cash.
    Funny that we never hear about these things in the media.

  • Eric from Chilwell

    Re Kens comments

    I thought it was nonsense but then I found this link

    It seems that rather than being too cynical I was not being cynical enough

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