Martin Bell OBE

UNICEF UK Ambassador

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“Millions of Syrian children have known nothing but war, death and destruction their entire lives.

As the war drags on, families are taking extreme measures just to survive, often pushing children into early marriage and child labour.”

In March 2017, Martin travelled to Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to see how Syrian children were trying to rebuild their lives, with UNICEF’s help.

Martin has been a UNICEF UK Ambassador since 2001. He is a former BBC war correspondent and independent MP. As a war correspondent, Martin has been able to visit UNICEF projects in high-risk conflict zones, and shed light on how UNICEF helps children in the most difficult of circumstances.

Martin has fronted emergency appeal direct response TV adverts, raising much needed funds for emergencies in Ukraine, Yemen and Afghanistan among others.

Martin Bell has highlighted the plight of children affected by conflict and natural disasters in Afghanistan, DRC, Iraq, Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and Yemen.

In 2011, Martin travelled to South Sudan on the eve of its independence to draw attention to the ongoing effects of the conflict on children.

In 2016 he supported our work on education in emergencies and wrote a personal account of his experiences in the field for The Guardian.

Martin continues to support UNICEF UK’s work in emergencies, attending and hosting events to promote the needs of children around the world.

Martin’s time with UNICEF UK

Martin has supported UNICEF UK since 2001. He has visited our projects across the world and tirelessly raises awareness of UNICEF’s work in emergencies.

Martin’s UNICEF field visits:

2017 – Lebanon – Martin visits Lebanon to visit displaced Syrians helped by UNICEF projects to mark the 6th Anniversary of the war in Syria

2011 – South Sudan – Martin is joined by Mia Farrow to visit South Sudan ahead of the country’s independence

2010 – Yemen – Martin visited Yemini capital Sana’a to report on the silent emergency in the country, where children face malnutrition, trafficking and PTSD.

2009 – Somalia – Martin reported on the humanitarian emergency in Somalia and how UNICEF was helping

2007 – Afghanistan – Reported on UNICEF-led vaccination programmes, Afghan street children, and women’s prisons in the country

2006 – Afghanistan – Martin visited UNICEF programmes in Afghanistan

2006 – DRC – Martin reported on UNICEF’s work from the DRC for the Telegraph and Newsnight

2005 – Sudan – Reported on humanitarian crisis in Darfur

2005 – Sri Lanka – Tsunami emergency with presenter David Bull

2004 – Sudan – Martin reported on the humanitarian disaster in Darfur with presenter David Bull

2003 – Iraq – Reported on reconstruction work at a school in Basra, and met some of the students at the school

2002 – Malawi – Martin visited UNICEF programmes addressing the food crisis in Malawi

2001 – Tajikistan – Martin visited the Afghan border with Tajikistan to explore the refugee situation.

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