Help in Emergencies
UNICEF supports families with children in emergencies, including refugees and migrants
In Belarus, emergencies associated with natural phenomena — earthquakes, floods, fires — rarely occur. However, there are other reasons why children in Belarus (both who were born in Belarus or relocated to Belarus) need urgent help.
For example, it was necessary to quickly respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020; there was the migrant crisis on the Belarusian-Polish border in 2021; there was a crisis in Ukraine in 2022.
UNICEF prioritizes the protection of children in emergencies. We work with our partners in every humanitarian crisis to ensure that children's basic needs for protection, health care, psychosocial support, nutritious food, education and clean water are met.
We support programs that restore a sense of “normal” life in children.
As any crisis onsets, we promote and support programs that restore a sense of “normal” life in children.
For example, we help families with children from Ukraine:
- we provide psychosocial support to children and their parents through partner organizations;
- we donate humanitarian aid to affected families;
- we help children from Ukraine to recover and recuperate. UNICEF in Belarus and the Belarusian Red Cross organized a summer vacation for children from Ukraine in August 2022 for 87 boys and girls from 6 to 17 years old in health camps in different regions of Belarus, where they received psychological assistance from professionals;
- we inform people about available services so that they understand where they get help in Belarus. To do this, we create and — with the help of our partners — distribute awareness brochures (links to online versions to be added) and train people who disseminate this information;
- we help families prepare children from Ukraine for an academic year (we provide gift certificates to buy school clothes or stationery) or for a cold winter (we transfer cash to help pay utility bills or buy winter clothes).
In 2022, we started cooperating with the Ministry of Emergencies on emergency prevention, as well as on preparedness and response to emergencies in Belarus.
We delivered prevention and treatment supplies to the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, we procured hand hygiene products and non-contact forehead infrared thermometers for 343 kindergartens and schools in 2021. As a result, 6,917 children have been protected from the virus. We donated 2,000 oxygen concentrators, a large batch of dexamethasone and personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers at Belarusian hospitals.
We launched the Public Service Announcement (PSA) under the Clean Trend campaign and made awareness materials for homeroom classes in schools to keep children and adolescents aware of the COVID-19 prevention. It's also an online information source for adolescents explaining COVID-19 through games, health tips, life stories, stickers and e-cards in the language of kids and teens. Thus, we managed to reach approximately 180,000 children.
We procured and — together with our partners — handed over vital items (hygiene kits, warm clothes, development kits for children, etc.) to about 500 families residing in a logistics center during the migrant crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border. We handed over all the necessary things for newborns to a shelter for migrant women where they lived with their babies after childbirth. We — together with our local partners — organized regular psychological support sessions for about 200 migrant children stranded on the Belarusian-Polish border.
To support families with children from Ukraine, we donated humanitarian aid to about 2,050 people (1,300 of them were children), gift certificates to buy things for more than 700 boys and girls, and delivered over 1,700 psychology consultations through partners.