On 22 February 2016, UNICEF staff and volunteers pack WASH kits (water, sanitation and hygiene kits) and school supplies at UNICEF's warehouse in Suva, Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday 20 February, continuing its path of destruction into Sunday 21 February.  A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. Flights in and out of Fiji were also cancelled due to the extreme weather. Power lines are down and communications are limited but UNICEF Pacific Communications Specialist and New Zealander, Alice Clements, has said from her Suva base, "We certainly felt the impact of TC Winston in Suva with destructive, howling winds and the sound of rivets lifting from roofs a constant throughout the night.   "We can't say for sure yet how the rest of the country fared but rapid assessments will be undertaken by the Fiji Government to determine the full impact and what response will be required.  It is likely that smaller villages across Fiji will have suffered the most, given their infrastructures would be too weak to withstand the power of a category 5 cyclone. Families may have lost their homes and crops therefore leaving them without shelter, food and a livelihood. Those families will have lost everything. There is also considerable risk for those that live by the sea or rivers as flash flooding and river flooding could occur due to heavy rains." UNICEF is a member of the Pacific Humanitarian Team and will be on standby to provide emergency supplies and additional personnel, if required.  UNICEF has prepositioned supplies in Suva and Nadi including water kits, health kits and education materials such as school tents. If called on to assist, UNICEF will actively support the Fiji Government in leading clusters of agencies working in water and sanitation, education and nutrition, and in child protection. as tarpaulins.

UNICEF Pacific urgently responding to Government appeal and needs of children after worst ever Cyclone Winston in Fiji

SUVA/ HONG KONG, 22 February 2016 – Less than 36 hours after Cyclone Winston devastated Fiji, UNICEF Pacific has begun assisting those most affected, in partnership with the Government of Fiji. UNICEF today began to distribute pre-positioned emergency supplies in Fiji, with a focus on distribution to worst-affected communities.

On 21 February 2016, scenes of Tropical Cyclone Winston's destruction in Tamavua, Suva, Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday (20 Feb), continuing its path of destruction into Sunday.  A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. Flights in and out of Fiji were also cancelled due to the extreme weather. Power lines are down and communications are limited but UNICEF Pacific Communications Specialist and New Zealander, Alice Clements, has said from her Suva base, "We certainly felt the impact of TC Winston in Suva with destructive, howling winds and the sound of rivets lifting from roofs a constant throughout the night.   We can't say for sure yet how the rest of the country fared but rapid assessments will be undertaken by the Fiji Government to determine the full impact and what response will be required.   It is likely that smaller villages across Fiji will have suffered the most, given their infrastructures would be too weak to withstand the power of a category 5 cyclone. Families may have lost their homes and crops therefore leaving them without shelter, food and a livelihood. Those families will have lost everything. There is also considerable risk for those that live by the sea or rivers as flash flooding and river flooding could occur due to heavy rains. The reiteration of preparedness messages from all sectors of society certainly ensured people were informed and as prepared as they could be.Ó UNICEF is a member of the Pacific Humanitarian Team and will be on standby to provide emergency supplies and additional personnel, if required.  UNICEF has prepositioned supplies in Suva and Nadi including water kits, health kits and education materials such as school tents.  If called on to assist, UNICEF will actively support the Fiji Government in leading clusters of agencies working in water and sanitation, education and nutrition, and in child protectio

Cyclone Winston, Fiji: UNICEF eyewitness update

NEW YORK/ HONG KONG, 21 February, 2016 – In the wake of Cyclone Winston, UNICEF’s main concern is for children, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers across Fiji. Little is yet known about the status of communities living on the outer islands of Fiji that were directly under the eye of Tropical Cyclone Winston- as communications remain down for many.

The Government is rapidly working to assess the overall situation in order to pinpoint the critical needs. The Fijian Government has declared a state of natural disaster for the next 30 days and has initiated the clean-up process by clearing the huge amounts of debris scattered everywhere.

On 21 February 2016, scenes of Tropical Cyclone Winston's destruction in Tamavua, Suva, Fiji. Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on Saturday (20 Feb), continuing its path of destruction into Sunday.  A state of natural disaster and a nationwide curfew had been declared by the Government of Fiji earlier in the evening. Flights in and out of Fiji were also cancelled due to the extreme weather. Power lines are down and communications are limited but UNICEF Pacific Communications Specialist and New Zealander, Alice Clements, has said from her Suva base, "We certainly felt the impact of TC Winston in Suva with destructive, howling winds and the sound of rivets lifting from roofs a constant throughout the night.   We can't say for sure yet how the rest of the country fared but rapid assessments will be undertaken by the Fiji Government to determine the full impact and what response will be required.   It is likely that smaller villages across Fiji will have suffered the most, given their infrastructures would be too weak to withstand the power of a category 5 cyclone. Families may have lost their homes and crops therefore leaving them without shelter, food and a livelihood. Those families will have lost everything. There is also considerable risk for those that live by the sea or rivers as flash flooding and river flooding could occur due to heavy rains. The reiteration of preparedness messages from all sectors of society certainly ensured people were informed and as prepared as they could be.Ó UNICEF is a member of the Pacific Humanitarian Team and will be on standby to provide emergency supplies and additional personnel, if required.  UNICEF has prepositioned supplies in Suva and Nadi including water kits, health kits and education materials such as school tents.  If called on to assist, UNICEF will actively support the Fiji Government in leading clusters of agencies working in water and sanitation, education and nutrition, and in child protectio

Cyclone Winston, Fiji: UNICEF eyewitness report

NEW YORK/ HONG KONG, 20 February, 2016 – Alice Clements from UNICEF Pacific is in Suva, Fiji and experienced Cyclone Winston.

“We certainly felt the impact of Tropical Cyclone Winston in Suva with destructive, howling winds and the sound of rivets lifting from roofs a constant throughout the night. We can’t say for sure yet how the rest of the country fared but rapid assessments will be undertaken by the Fiji Government to determine the full impact and what response will be required. It is likely that smaller villages across Fiji will have suffered the most, given their infrastructures would be too weak to withstand the power of a category 5 cyclone. Families may have lost their homes and crops therefore leaving them without shelter, food and a livelihood. There is also considerable risk for those that live by the sea or rivers as flash flooding and river flooding could occur due to heavy rains.”

On 26 November, two small children carrying balloons hold hands with a man and an older boy as they board a train north from the town of Gevgelija, on the border with Greece. In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Government has begun restricting the flow of refugees and migrants on the move, and is allowing only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans to continue their journey. About 1,000 people are stranded at the main entry point into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia from Greece.

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.  Recent restrictions imposed by governments at several border crossings in the Balkans is creating additional hardships and challenges for refugee and migrants, including leaving some stranded at various crossing points, creating tensions and protests at border crossings, or forcing others to take further risks by taking dangerous smuggling routes to reach safety. UNICEF, together with partners UNHCR and IOM, is supporting child-friendly spaces in reception centres at border crossings along the Balkan routes, mobilizing for winter and working with governments to strengthen child protection systems for all children, including refugee and migrant children. UNICEF is also monitoring and providing assistance with partners at these points, and is providing blankets, winter clothing and other key items to meet basic needs.

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 Afghanis

With growing numbers of child deaths at sea, UN agencies call for enhancing safety for refugees and migrants

© UNICEF/UN03122/Gilbertson VII Photo –  In the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Government has begun restricting the flow of refugees and migrants on the move, and is allowing only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans to continue their journey. GENEVA/ HONG KONG, 19 February 2016 – An average of two children have drowned every day since September […]

On 29 January 2016, a girl gets her oral polio vaccine in the children’s municipal policlinics in the city of Chernomorsk, Odesa region. In total, 4.7 million Ukrainian children should be immunized against polio during the nationwide campaign this month.

A chance to wipe out polio: Ukraine started the third round of polio vaccination campaign.
On 1 September 2015, a polio outbreak was confirmed in Ukraine. Two cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus were confirmed in children living in Zakarpattya region in south-western Ukraine, which borders with Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, and Romania. Both children, one aged 10 months and the other aged 4 years, were not vaccinated against polio and became paralysed after contracting a poliovirus. 

This is the first polio outbreak to hit Ukraine in 19 years. It puts children’s lives at risk and undermines Europe’s polio-free status. The outbreak occurred because of the chronically low immunization coverage in the country. Routine immunization coverage rates in Ukraine have fallen dramatically in the past five years to as low as 50 per cent. As documented by a multi-agency immunization programme review, low coverage was initially triggered by public distrust and later aggravated by insufficient vaccine supply. Low immunisation coverage has been amplified by the ongoing conflict and large-scale population displacement in eastern Ukraine.

UNICEF together with partners supported the Ministry of Health of Ukraine to conduct nationwide immunization of children for at least three rounds to stop circulation of the poliovirus. The first two rounds targeted 2.8 million children aged 2 months to 6 years. On 25 January 2016, the third round started targeting children aged 2 months to 10 years. A total of 4.7 million children should be immunized during the nationwide campaign in Ukraine. 

To support the polio outbreak response, UNICEF has been implementing communication and social mobilization campaign to get children vacc

Two years on, Ukraine conflict affects over half a million children – UNICEF

© UNICEF/UN09083/Bershadskiy – A girl gets her oral polio vaccine in the children’s municipal policlinics. In total, 4.7 million Ukrainian children should be immunized against polio during the nationwide campaign this month.   More than 200,000 children need psychosocial support GENEVA/ NEW YORK/KYIV/ HONG KONG, 19 February 2016 – The conflict in Ukraine has deeply affected […]

Bangui, Sept 22, 2015: After a morning of literacy and calculation catch up classes, children freshly released from armed groups enjoy a sports class. 2262 children have been released in 2015 throughout the Central African Republic.assistance to cash assistance. It is an empowering and dignified form of support to children and their families, with a positive effect on the local economy and with lower administrative costs.

Nadine and Jonathan: hopes for a bright future

When the headmaster calls her name, Nadine* jumps from her seat and runs up to the stage. She greets the teachers, grabs her certificate and turns to face dozens of cheering children. She is trying to hide her smile behind her hand, out of shyness, but everyone in the room can sense her happiness and pride.

Just four months after being released from the anti-balaka armed group in Bangui, along with 90 other children, Nadine, 17, has made it to the second rank in her class. A great turnaround for a life that had taken a turn for the worst three years ago, when the mostly Muslim seleka rebels started to march towards the capital where they finally overthrew the government. “I lived with my family in a town called Dekoa,” she says. “When the seleka rebels came into town, my mother was killed by a stray bullet, and my father was murdered just outside our house.”

With no family to support her, Nadine decided to join the rival militia, the anti-balaka (which in local language means anti-AK47 bullets). “They said if I came with them, I could become a woman and take care of my little brother,” she recalls.