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UNICEF Europe & Central Asia Region (ECARO) Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) - Situation Report No. 7, 6 – 15 May 2020

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UNICEF works for children and adolescents in 22 countries and territories in Europe and Central Asia Region (ECAR). UNICEF is also present in Italy, supporting refugee and migrant populations.

  • A country-by-country review of support required to act swiftly to protect children and families from the immediate health impact, and from collateral social and economic shocks resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic underlined an urgent need to intensify efforts, and the need to increase ECAR’s humanitarian action for children (HAC) appeal from $38 to $133 million.
  • In Eastern Ukraine violations of the ceasefire continue. Last week, a serious deterioration resulted in civilian casualties, including seven children injured, as well as damage to schools. UNICEF has called on the donor community and foreign embassies to intensify advocacy with respective authorities to immediately cease hostilities and stop targeting civilians, including children, and critical infrastructure.
  • Teachers, education technology specialists and policy makers in Albania, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Moldova, North Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Greece, and Tajikistan are now engaged in an online learning initiative, LearnIn, that is helping build pedagogical and digital competencies in the use of digital technology for learning. In participating countries, UNICEF’s partnership with Zurich Teacher Education University, Centre de Recherches Interdisciplinaires (CRI) and LabXchange is delivering solutions to improve the quality and effectiveness of distance and online learning for children.
  • UNICEF, in partnership with UNDP, supported young programmers in creating digital solutions to fight COVID-19 misinformation and promote media literacy in Bulgaria and to help children and women in difficult situations under confinement in Kyrgyzstan. In Bulgaria, this first-ever hackathon, inspired by multi-disciplinary, innovative approaches (e.g., GenU and UNICEF’s Business for Results (B4R)), gave five adolescent teams a chance to develop a concept and pitch their ideas before a jury of stakeholders, who then will select the best one for development. In Kazakhstan, the hackathon gave 53 adolescents working in teams just 48 hours to develop concepts of IT products to address real problems under lockdown. The initiative was supported by the UN-EU Spotlight Initiative and guidance was provided by local crisis centres. Four of the 18 proposed solutions were chosen for financing and further development.