Emergency funding appeal for children in Europe and Central Asia

Funds needed in 2018 to support children caught in conflict and disaster

Father Barzan Hassan, from Iraq, holds one-year old Yamar, outside their shelter in Ritsona refugee camp near Chalcis, Greece.
UNICEF/UN057931/Gilbertson VII Photo

Today, one in four children worldwide live in a country affected by conflict or disaster.

During an emergency, children are always the most vulnerable – they face the highest risk of violence, exploitation, disease and neglect. 

This year, UNICEF is seeking $3.6 billion in emergency assistance to reach 48 million children caught in humanitarian crises around the world.

Read UNICEF's 2018, Humanitarian Action for Children report. 

In Europe and Central Asia UNICEF’s emergency response focuses on reaching children caught in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, protecting refugee and migrant children who have been uprooted from their homes and emergency preparedness. 


After nearly four years of conflict in eastern Ukraine, 500,000 children remain in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. Daily ceasefire violations have left more than 200,000 children and their families in constant danger. Since the beginning of the conflict, more than 700 schools and 130 medical points have been damaged by shelling. Indiscriminate shelling also frequently damage and disrupt critical water, sanitation, electrical and heating infrastructure, putting 3.4 million people’s access to safe drinking water at risk.

In 2018, UNICEF is appealing for $23,599,000 USD to meet the humanitarian needs of children affected by conflict in eastern Ukraine. These emergency response activities include;

Health and Nutrition

  • Providing 20,000 mothers in conflict affected areas with improved knowledge on the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.
  • Providing 20,000 pregnant women and newborns access to quality maternal health services.

Water, Sanitation and Hygiene

  • Reaching 1.8 million people with improved water quality through safe and effective water. treatment and emergency repair of water and sanitation infrastructure.
  • Reaching 190,000 boys, girls and parents with critical hygiene supplies and knowledge on basic hygiene practices.

Child protection

  • Providing 100,000 children and caregivers access to psychosocial support services.
  • Educating 500,000 boys, girls and their family members on mine risk education.
  • Training 5,000 community professionals to identify and respond to key child protection issues, including genderbased violence.


  • Supporting 32,500 boys and girls in conflictaffected areas to access basic education and early childhood education and care
  • Providing 98,500 boys, girls and educators with lifeskills education and information on educational options. 


  • Ensuring 16,000 HIVpositive patients have uninterrupted access to life-saving antiretroviral treatments.
  • Providing 30,000 pregnant women with HIV tests to prevent mother-to-child transmission.

Read UNICEF's detailed 2018 Humanitarian Action Plan for children in Ukraine. 


Refugee and Migrant Children in Europe

Children on the move face a range of risks, lack protection and fall through the cracks during their desperate journeys through countries of origin, transit, arrival and return.
Some 164,000 refugees and migrants, including 29,000 children, entered Europe in 2017, joining the 1.4 million people, including 360,000 children, who arrived in 2015-2016, and the 3.6 million people, including 1.2 million children, already hosted in Turkey.

Although protection systems have improved and social inclusion has progressed with increasing access to education, major gaps remain. Key challenges include the poor reception conditions, child migration detention and persistent discrimination against refugees and migrants. Many children are still unable to pursue education or access basic services. In Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia, more than 20,000 stranded children remain in limbo, and in Italy, 90 per cent of arriving children are unaccompanied and/or separated.

In 2018, UNICEF is appealing for $33,144,000 USD to meet the humanitarian needs of refugee and migrant children in Europe. These emergency response activities include;


  • Providing 2,580 people with access to gender based violence services, including referral, prevention services.
  • Providing 5,000 children with quality child protection services.
  • Enrolling 10,500 children in formal and nonformal education activities.


  • Providing 6,800 children with quality child protection services.
  • Training 1,900 frontline workers on child protection and Gender Based Violence services.
  • Enrolling 2,600 children in formal and nonformal educational activities.


  • Providing 3,000 children benefitting from quality child protection services.
  • Ensuring 1,600 children are participating in formal and nonformal educational activities.
  • Providing basic supplies such as clothing and baby hygiene items to 4,000 children.
  • Providing 1,000 children under 5 access to mother and baby care centres, including nutrition services.


  • Providing 300 children with quality child protection services
  • Providing 200 people access to gender based violence services including referrals and prevention services.
  • Ensuring 600 children are participating in nonformal educational activities.


  • Providing 10,000 children with quality child protection services.
  • Training 2,500 frontline workers on child protection standards.
  • Providing rapid reaction support to 75 per cent of children receiving cross sectoral rapid reaction support in contingency interventions to respond to
    sudden influxes.

Read UNICEF's detailed 2018 Humanitarian Action Plan for refugee and migrant children in Europe.

Emergency Preparedness

Children in the Central Asia and South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia) are vulnerable to poorly mitigated natural hazards and under-resourced social services. More than 80 per cent of children in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan live in areas of high or very high seismic risk, and 87 per cent of schools in Kyrgyzstan assessed for seismic risk are unsafe.

The absence of a peace agreement between Armenia and Azerbaijan and the regular exchange of fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh region continue to affect the South Caucasus sub-region. Accessible emergency supplies are needed to improve preparedness for small scale emergencies in Central Asia, as are improved capacities and policies for cash-based transfers.

In 2018, UNICEF is appealing $3.1 million USD to strengthen the quality and reach of emergency preparedness, including pandemic and outbreak prevention and conflict-sensitive programming. This work will target children living in high risk regions, especially in the South Caucasus and Central Asia. These funds may also be used to support small- or medium-sized emergency response elsewhere in the region.

Read UNICEF's detailed 2018 Humanitarian Action Plan for emergency preparedness across the region.