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UNICEF ECARO Humanitarian Situation Report No. 43 (Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe) for 1 January to 31 March 2022

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  • Between January and March, 26,700 new refugees and migrants arrived in Europe from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Syria, and other countries. In addition, 303,400 Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war arrived in Europe.

  • In Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro nearly 8,000 children were reached with child protection services and around 2,600 people with gender-based violence (GBV) prevention, response or support. Around 1,200 children and mothers accessed health and nutrition services. Nearly 19,300 children accessed formal and non-formal education.

  • UNICEF implemented the “All Children in Education” programme in accommodation and urban centres throughout Greece, enrolling 16,412 children in schools and training 1,282 teachers in refugee education.

  • UNICEF supported an awareness campaign in Serbia focused on women and girls as invisible victims of war, sharing their stories and advocating for a better future and integration, with the engagement of 1,935 participants.

  • UNICEF has received US$ 2.2 million against its USD 42 million appeal. With US$ 5 million of carry-forward funding, a significant funding gap of 83 percent remains.

Situation in Numbers

148,000 - estimated # of children in need (UNICEF HAC 2022)
79,700 - estimated # of children to be reached (UNICEF HAC 2022)
26,700 - estimated # of arrivals in 2022 in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro
13,605 - estimated # of unaccompanied and separated children registered in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro

Funding Overview and Partnerships

By end of March, UNICEF’s 2022 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal for the Refugee and Migrant Response in Europe is 17 percent funded (US$ 7.2 million), including US$ 5 million carry over from 2021, and US$ 2.2 million received in 2022 from the European Union (EU), UNICEF National Committees in Germany, Italy, Sweden and pooled Global Thematic Humanitarian funds. Funding received has enabled UNICEF and partners to sustain critical health and nutrition, child protection and education services, provide urgent non-food items (NFIs) and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies. From end February to March, Greece, Italy, Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina also used these funds to respond to urgent humanitarian needs of refugee children and families fleeing from Ukraine, however from next quarter, this will be supported under the second pillar of the 2022 Ukraine Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) Appeal, aligned with the Inter-agency Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP)iii, and reported under the Ukraine Refugee Response situation report.

With a significant 87 percent funding gap, continued, flexible and timely resources are critical to enable UNICEF to support essential, evidence-based, national responses addressing immediate needs and mitigating longer-term impacts on vulnerable refugee and migrant children in Europe.

UNICEF continues to work with national authorities, UNHCR, IOM, and other UN agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), civil society organizations (CSOs), and religious leaders to ensure the rights of children and families on the move are protected. Inter-agency coordination enables effective emergency response, relocation, and country-specific initiatives to ensure protection and basic services for populations in need. Working directly with Governments and EU institutions, UNICEF and partners develop and deliver unified and coordinated messages and policy positions, while advocating for key child rights issues faced by refugee and migrant children.