UNICEF support to Ukrainian refugee children and families in Belarus

Statement attributable to UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office

23 February 2024

GENEVA, 23 February 2024 – “In 2022, UNICEF partnered with the Belarus Red Cross and others to provide critical support to children who were legally residing in Belarus with their parents or legal guardians. As in other refugee receiving countries and in line with our standard approach, our support included helping children access education, protection, psychosocial support, and essential supplies to meet their basic needs.   

“As part of these activities, UNICEF supported 2,160 Ukrainian children and caregivers in Belarus from end February 2022 to end February 2023 with education, mental health and psychosocial support, information counseling and child-centered recreation activities. This includes 1,421 children and 739 caregivers, who were asked to provide consent for their children’s participation in UNICEF-supported activities.  

“UNICEF is aware of the findings of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) Compliance and Mediation Committee published on 4 October 2023 and the subsequent decision to suspend the Belarus Red Cross.

“UNICEF never supports cross-border movements for recreational purposes, as this may lead to children being separated from their families, can delay reunification, and poses other risks during a time of conflict. We continue to be deeply concerned about incidents of cross-border movement of children that may put them at risk.” 

Media contacts

Georgina Diallo
UNICEF Europe and Central Asia
Tel: +41 76 320 68 14

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