The United States contributes US$17.64 million to scale-up UNICEF’s humanitarian response for children on the move in Mexico and Central America

26 May 2021
A boy makes a heart with his hands in the shelter for migrant families of Roca de Salvación, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, on April 14, 2021.
UNICEF/UN0443687/Kelly
A boy makes a heart with his hands in the shelter for migrant families of Roca de Salvación, Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico, on April 14, 2021.

PANAMA CITY, 25 May 2021 - The Government of the United States of America is contributing US$17.64 million through the State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) to expand UNICEF´s humanitarian response to reach 280,000 people on the move, including 138,000 children.

This additional funding will enable UNICEF to strengthen and expand its  migration response across Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Panama, with a special focus on child protection, including gender-based violence (GBV), as well as water, sanitation and hygiene and education services.

The UN estimates that there are approximately 515,000 refugees and asylum seekers from the North of Central America and over 318,000 internally displaced people, including children, in Honduras and El Salvador. Every day, an average of 275 additional migrant children find themselves in Mexico, after being returned from the U.S, waiting to cross or being registered by the Mexican authorities.

For many children and their families, pervasive violence, compounded by poverty and limited access to livelihood options, social services and quality education influence the decision and urgency to embark on dangerous journeys in search for international protection and opportunities.  

“In recent years the continued migration crisis in Mexico and Central America has worsened with hundreds of thousands of children and their families migrating as a result of poverty, inequality, violence, natural disasters and lack of opportunities, among many other factors,” said Jean Gough, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean. “UNICEF is thankful to the Government of the United States of America’s contribution which will enable us to reach the most vulnerable children and families on the move”.   

PRM’s contribution to UNICEF is a substantial contribution to UNICEF’s 2021 Humanitarian Action for Children Appeal for “Children on the move and COVID-19 in Mexico and Central America” which requests US$59.7 million to meet critical humanitarian needs of 2.8 million people, including  2.3 million children. UNICEF calls upon the international donor community to continue to support its humanitarian efforts in Mexico and Central America to ensure the rights of children and their access to life-saving services.  

Media contacts

Laurent Duvillier
Regional Chief of Communication
UNICEF Latin America and Caribbean
Tel: + 507 3017393
Tel: + 507 6169 9886
Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 69412277,

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