Refugee and migrant flows in Europe are at an unprecedented high. In 2015, over 80 per cent of people arriving in Europe across the Mediterranean and on route through Greece and the West Balkans, are escaping the conflict in Syria. Over 440,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Europe and an additional 450,000 are estimated for 2016. One in every four asylum seekers is a child.
Many Syrian refugees arrive in neighboring countries and Europe having gone months without access to basic services and traumatized by the violence they have experienced or witnessed. Over the course of their journey to Europe, refugees and migrants endure tremendous hardship. Many face ill-treatment and abuse by smugglers and local gangs. Furthermore, the approaching winter is likely to affect routes used for onward movement to and within Europe.
With winter approaching, UNICEF will procure and distribute winter clothes and other non-food items for children and new-born babies, in collaboration with partners on the ground. Education support for children and youth focusing on development of relevant materials to support teachers in schools receiving refugee and migrant children, promoting integration, preventing racial discrimination and fostering social cohesion; education curriculum support for continuity of learning.
UNICEF will engage in continued policy dialogue so that the rights of children are respected and provide technical assistance to Governments and partners on the implementation of Best Interests Determination, the establishment of Child Friendly Spaces, including psychosocial support for distressed children, family tracing and reunification for children who are unaccompanied or separated, and infant and young child feeding. UNICEF will also support the provision of water and sanitation facilities