• UNICEF works for children and adolescents in 22 countries and territories1 in Europe and Central Asia Region (ECAR). UNICEF is also present in Italy, supporting refugee and migrant populations.
• With Tajikistan declaring cases (230 confirmed, 3 deaths) of COVID-19 this week, Turkmenistan remains the only country in ECAR with no Government-confirmed cases.
• UNICEF and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) are working together on COVID-19-related content, including remote learning, positive parenting, and risk communication for dissemination by EBU member television and radio stations in multiple languages in 15 ECAR countries. The EBU has agreed to expand the collaboration to include its interested members in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.
• ECAR countries are at different stages of pandemic response, with some intensifying lockdowns as the number of positive cases increases (e.g., Georgia, Tajikistan). However, others are also preparing to gradually relax containment measures, with some turning to UNICEF and UN partners for technical assistance to formulate policies and procedures that ensure children’s safety against infection as they return to classrooms and to help resume routine health services like vaccination.
• This week, UNICEF support to countries has resulted in concrete progress in ensuring immunization services for children. For example, in Kosovo*, UNICEF has helped launch the resumption of routine immunization programmes. In Kyrgyzstan, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health promoted the work of mobile vaccination teams that are providing measles and rubella immunization during the state of emergency. In Turkmenistan, a supply plan for re-stocking vaccines and ensuring cold chain has advanced.
• In Croatia, the Ministry of the Interior and Ministry of Health accepted a complete handover from UNICEF’s implementing partner, Médecins du Monde (MdM), for funding and delivering all health services at reception centres accommodating asylum seeking families and children. In the COVID-19 context, this mainstreaming of vital health services for this vulnerable group will minimize their risk to infection.
• In Kazakhstan, UNICEF in partnership with UNESCO and Ministries of Health and Education, enabled 600 multi-graded remote schools to implement COVID-19 school safety procedures and recommendations during quarantine and postquarantine periods as children continue learning in these schools.