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Embracing the First 1,000 Days of Life  Kimberly-Clark and its brand Huggies Announce its Support for UNICEF to Promote Newborn Health and Early Childhood Development in China
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Embracing the First 1,000 Days of Life Kimberly-Clark and its brand Huggies Announce its Support for UNICEF to Promote Newborn Health and Early Childhood Development in China

Beijing, August 18, 2022 Today, Kimberly-Clark announced new support through its Huggies brand for UNICEF to promote the ‘Newborn Health and Early Childhood Development’ programme in China. The programme will aim to improve the health and lives of children aged 0-3 years, and their caregivers, in underdeveloped areas of central and western China. The programme is expected to directly reach more than 7.3 million children, including newborns.

China has made remarkable progress in improving maternal and infant health over the past decades. Yet, there is still work to be done in underdeveloped areas of central and western China that continue to face challenges in terms of safe childbirth, nutritional care and optimal development in the early years of life. Persistent problems related to regional disparities in the quality of care, the capacity of the health workforce, and caregiver practices have resulted in an estimated 17 million children under 5 years old being at risk of not reaching their full developmental potential.

Globally, the first 1,000 days of life is widely recognized as a critical timeframe for a baby’s growth and development. During this period, a baby’s brain grows rapidly, forming nearly a million neural connections per second, and laying the foundation for future learning, health, and well-being, with benefits that last a lifetime. Accordingly, early childhood development (ECD) services are key to ensuring that every child has equal access to opportunities for healthy growth. Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) services can save babies’ lives and improve their health and establish a basis for early childhood development. That is why Kimberly-Clark is supporting UNICEF’s Newborn Health and Early Childhood Development programme.

Photo credits and captions: A trainer gives simulation-based Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) coaching to a group of health workers at Sichuan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Chengdu City, China. ©UNICEF/China/2016/Ma Yuyuan

Ms. Anuradha Narayan, Chief, Child Health and Development at UNICEF China, explained the programme’s implementation plan and action measures. “Under UNICEF’s partnership with the government, efforts to improve newborn and early childhood development care will be implemented through the primary health care system. By working directly with provincial and county governments, technical institutes as well as maternal and child health facilities, we hope to enhance the quality of services and the capacity of health workers using sustainable, decentralized approaches that can build on local solutions and best practices,” said Ms. Narayan.  

“UNICEF welcomes this ambitious partnership with Kimberly-Clark. Together we are aiming to reach every child in China and help them to realize their right to health with a standard of care that is aligned with global best practices,” said Dr. Douglas Noble, Acting UNICEF Representative to China.  

“As the maker of Huggies, we believe in the power of hugs: we understand there is nothing more powerful than the first hug and the moments that come after it. This belief inspires us to provide babies with products as comfortable and reassuring as a mother’s hug,” said Katy Chen, Managing Director of Kimberly-Clark China. “During our 150 years in business, Kimberly-Clark has remained committed to providing better care for our consumers and communities with a better world. We are very excited to start this journey with UNICEF in China, to embrace every baby, and to bring more care to more local families and caregivers.”

Photo credits and captions: A mother provides Kangaroo Mother Care (KMC) for to her newborn baby in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of Sichuan Provincial Maternal and Child Health Hospital, Chengdu City, China. KMC is part of the Early Essential Newborn Care (EENC) that UNICEF has introduced in pilot hospitals of western China. EENC is a set of simple, cost-effective interventions including immediate drying and skin to skin contact, delayed cord clamping and cutting after birth, exclusive breastfeeding, and KMC, etc. ©UNICEF/China/2016/Ma Yuyuan

No Baby Unhugged is one of the largest global social impact programmes established by Kimberly-Clark and the Kimberly-Clark Foundation through its Huggies brand. The programme began in 2010 and aims to help the most vulnerable babies in society get the hugs and care they need. This care comes in many forms, including partnerships with hospitals and NGOs as well as diaper and wipe donations.

Photo credits and captions: Caregivers and children join care group activities in a UNICEF-supported community-based early childhood development centre in Fenxi County, Shanxi province. Care group activities help parents and caregivers to better understand the importance of nurturing care and equip them with parenting knowledge and skills to provide responsive care for their children aged 0-3. ©UNICEF/China/2017/Xia Yong

UNICEF has spent more than 75 years working to improve the lives of children and families around the world. Kimberly-Clark, through the Kimberly-Clark Foundation, has supported UNICEF’s work in nearly 20 countries in Latin America and Asia-Pacific during the past five years to develop and grow UNICEF’s Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programmes. The ‘Promoting Newborn Health and Early Childhood Development’ programme in China is expected to directly reach 7.3 million children aged 0-3 years, and their caregivers, by strengthening the services and capacity of 54,000 health facilities, and 142,000 health workers and neonatal care service providers. By scaling up beyond the initial set of provinces, the programme is also expected to indirectly benefit more than 14 million children, including more than 3.2 million newborns, as well as their caregivers, and indirectly reaching over 123,000 health facilities and more than 328,000 health workers and neonatal care service providers, helping countless more babies to be born safely, fully realize their growth potential, and grow up healthy.



Images used are from UNICEF China photo archive. The children and families featured are not beneficiaries of the programme supported by Kimberly-Clark.


About Kimberly-Clark

Kimberly-Clark and its trusted brands are an indispensable part of life for people in more than 175 countries and territories. Fueled by ingenuity, creativity, and an understanding of people's most essential needs, we create products that help individuals experience more of what's important to them. Our portfolio of brands, including Huggies, Kleenex, Scott, Kotex, Cottonelle, Poise, Depend, Andrex, Pull-Ups, GoodNites, Intimus, Neve, Plenitud, Sweety, Softex, Viva and WypAll. We use sustainable practices that support a healthy planet, build strong communities, and ensure our business thrives for decades to come. To keep up with the latest news and to learn more about the company's 150-year history of innovation, visit


About the Kimberly-Clark Foundation

Established in 1952, the Kimberly-Clark Foundation is the charitable arm of Kimberly-Clark Corporation and is dedicated to supporting global causes that create lasting social change. Together with funding from the corporation and employees, its primary focus is on social and community investments that increase access to sanitation, help women and children thrive, and empower women and girls.



UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit

UNICEF does not endorse any company, brand, product or service.


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