EU grants €2 million to UNICEF to meet urgent needs of child refugees and migrants on the move in the Western Balkans

11th November 2015

GENEVA, 11 November 2015 — The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (ECHO) has granted €2 million to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for children on the move in the Republic of Serbia and in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

This is the first contribution of ECHO to UNICEF to respond to the refugees and migrants moving through Europe. These funds will help UNICEF and its partners address the needs of child refugees and migrants passing through these two countries. The project will provide €2 million to assist 170,000 infants, children and mothers with 24/7 operational child friendly spaces in which families can rest, receive first aid and essentials for the winter such as blankets and children’s clothes, and help boost child protection systems. It will also provide age appropriate food for children between 0-24 months and consultations with mothers on breastfeeding and best nutrition practices.

Executive Director of UNICEF Ireland, Peter Power said: “Children are caught in the middle of this unprecedented and unpredictable crisis. They are on the move to a better life in Europe. Now with winter looming their needs are greater than ever. We cannot let them down. This generous ECHO grant will go a long way to helping us help ease their precarious journeys.”