In the past six years, the Government of the Republic of Croatia and UNICEF implemented projects for children in ten countries worth 3.5 million dollars

Official development and humanitarian assistance for children

09 February 2024
ARM 2023
Darko Ceglec
Regina M. Castillo i Gordan Grlić Radman

Zagreb, 9 February 2024 - Today, as part of the regular annual meeting on the cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and the UNICEF Office for Croatia, a publication was presented on the implemented projects in which the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and UNICEF have successfully collaborated over the past six years within the Official Development Assistance ( ODA), with the focus on the needs of children in the least developed countries, as well as children facing the consequences of humanitarian crises.

From 2018 to 2023, the Government of the Republic of Croatia, through the cooperation of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs with UNICEF, implemented important projects aimed at various needs of the most vulnerable children in 10 countries. As part of the cooperation, better learning and playing conditions were provided for refugee children in Jordan and Lebanon, as well as humanitarian aid for children in Yemen and Gaza, primary healthcare for children and mothers in Egypt, power generators for hospitals, schools and water supply companies in Moldova and Ukraine, schools in earthquake-affected areas in Türkiye, and support for girls' education in Ethiopia and Kenya. The total value of the subject investments in development assistance for children amounted to 3.5 million US dollars.

 “At the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Republic of Croatia, we are proud of the partnership we have established with UNICEF with the aim of encouraging structural and long-term improvements, especially in the low- and middle-income countries. This cooperation is strategically aimed at improving conditions for children and youth, with a strong emphasis on reaching the most vulnerable among them – which is a key part of our wider commitment to protecting human rights. Through our development cooperation and humanitarian aid, Croatia took on an active role in creating solutions that protect the lives of children and enable them to realize their full potential”, said Gordan Grlić Radman, Minister of Foreign and European Affairs in the Government of the Republic of Croatia.  

By cooperating in the area of development assistance implementation, the Croatian Government and UNICEF strive to contribute to the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially in the area of children’s health, education and protection. The joint publication, based on years-long cooperation, will serve as a tool for further international exchange of good practices, as well as the advocacy and expansion of Official Development Assistance projects with a focus on the protection and exercise of children's rights.

 “Although our cooperation with the Government of the Republic of Croatia is still mostly focused on providing support to children in Croatia, we also make significant efforts for children who need help in some of the most demanding environments around the world - every child whose childhood and development is endangered by war, earthquake or other circumstances, deserves a chance. Thanks to the Government's investments through Official Development Assistance and cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, we managed to provide new life opportunities for children in refugee camps, in earthquake-affected areas and in areas of long-standing war conflicts. Together we make the needs of the most vulnerable children visible and respond to them. We are proud that our cooperation contributes to the further expansion of development assistance aimed at the most vulnerable children and their families”, emphasised Regina M. Castillo, Representative of UNICEF Office for Croatia.   

Today, at the regular meeting between the Government of the Republic of Croatia and UNICEF, a new two-year operating plan was presented as part of the Cooperation Programme 2023-2027, based on which UNICEF continues to implement numerous important programmes for children, adolescents, youth and families in Croatia. UNICEF will thus continue to invest in enhancing the availability of preschool education, high-quality services for children with developmental disabilities, development of high-quality foster care for children, support for families at risk, development of skills and support for the mental health of children and youth, as well as support for children and families of refugees and migrants in Croatia. In the forthcoming period, UNICEF will also focus on some new areas and challenges of the 21st century that require new approaches and solutions, such as the prevention of obesity in children and the promotion of healthy nutrition, and will also relaunch the peer violence prevention programme.


Official Development Assistance  (ODA) refers to activities and measures designed to promote sustainable development in the least developed countries, and the activities are financed from the budget of the Republic of Croatia and used in accordance with the regulations of the OECD Development Assistance Committee on official development assistance.

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