On 27 November 2015, a girl covered in a heavy blanket, stands outside a tent at the Vinojug reception centre for refugees and migrants in Gevgelija, on the border with Greece. She is among refugees, primarily from the Syrian Arab Republic, Afghanistan, and Iraq. From Gevgelija, the refugees will board a special train that takes them to Tabanovce, close to the Serbian border. Heavy rain and near freezing conditions are challenging the refugees and the aid organizations providing them with warm winter clothing and supplies.

In late November 2015, refugee and migrant flows into Europe remain at an unprecedented high. Since the beginning of the year, over 870,000 refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean Sea to Europe. Many of them are escaping conflict and insecurity in their home countries of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and the Syrian Arab Republic. More than one in five is a child. With the arrival of winter and colder temperatures, refugees and migrants are facing increasingly difficult conditions, including a heightened risk of dying at sea or on land or becoming seriously ill from hypothermia or pneumonia. Children are among those most at risk. UNICEF, working with governments and its partners, is supporting child protection, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, and education interventions to meet the needs of children and their families on the move in Europe. UNICEF, together with the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Office for Migration (IOM), the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and other partners, is mobilizing for winter and working with governments to strengthen child protection systems for refugee, migrant and other children and is establishing and supporting child-friendly spaces in reception centres at border crossings along the Balkan routes. UNICEF is also monitoring and providing assistance with partners at these points, and is providing key items to meet basic needs.

© UNICEF/UN03023/Gilbertson VII Photo

Every year, the lives of millions of children and their families are disrupted, upended or nearly destroyed by emergencies. Conflict, human-made disasters and wide-ranging, climate-change events challenge the lives of many who are already vulnerable. In all of these situations, UNICEF is there.

Today, an estimated 535 million children – nearly one in four – live in countries affected by conflict or disaster, often without access to medical care, quality education, proper nutrition and protection.

 

 

© UNICEF/UN05565/Georgiev
In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, a young boy is helped into his new warm winter coat in the UNICEF child-friendly space at a refugee and migrant transit centre near Gevgelija.

 

UNICEF’s Work in 2015

The below are part of UNICEF’s achievements in the 71 hardest hit countries in 2015

Nutrition

Nutrition

 

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69%

2 million children treated for severe malnutrition

Health

Health

 

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62%

11.3 million measles vaccinations

WASH

WASH

 

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94%

Safe water for 22.6 million people

Child protection

Child
Protection

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74%

Psychosocial support for 2 million children

Education

Education

 

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45%

Basic education for 4 million children

 

 

 

UNICEF’s Target in 2016

The below are part of UNICEF’s target results in the 63 hardest hit countries in 2016

Nutrition

NUTRITION

2.9 million children to be treated for severe malnutrition

Health

HEALTH

11.7 million measles vaccinations

WASH

WASH

Safe water for 17.3 million people

Education

EDUCATION

Basic education for 8.2 million children

Child protection

CHILD PROTECTION

Psychosocial support for 3 million children

CASH ASSISTANCE

Cash support for 2.1 million people

 

 

 

 

Read more about UNICEF’s work in crises around the world

Syria Crisis Yemen Conflict Nepal Earthquake Ebola Outbreak