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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nana Mouskouri and UNICEF Regional Director visit Greece amid ongoing refugee and migrant crisis

© UNICEF/UNI180017/Matas
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Nana Mouskouri on mission in Madagascar in 2015

GENEVA/ATHENS, Greece, May 25 2016 – The impact of the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis in Europe – and ways of alleviating its impact on children – will be the focus of a visit to Greece this week by Marie-Pierre Poirier, UNICEF Regional Director for central and Eastern Europe and Nana Mouskouri, acclaimed singer, humanitarian and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.

The four-day mission by Poirier, who is also UNICEF Special Coordinator for the Refugee and Migrant Crisis in Europe, with Ms Mouskouri, will include visits to see the work being done to help refugee and migrant children and their families in Athens and Piraeus.

Some 22,000 children are among the 55 000 migrants and refugees currently stranded in Greece, hosted in 35 camps and sites on the mainland and islands.

“The extraordinary resolve shown by ordinary Greek people, the Government and civil society in helping thousands of refugees and migrants must be saluted”, said Poirier ahead of her visit.

“But they cannot do it alone. That’s why UNICEF is scaling up its response together with the Government, local humanitarian partners, and other UN agencies in order to provide more support for children and meet their most pressing needs in terms of protection, health and education.”


Note to Editors:

UNICEF’s response to the migrant and refugee crisis in Greece so far:

  • Child Protection:   Through national partners, UNICEF is providing direct support to refugee and migrant children and families in dozens of sites in Northern Greece and the Attika region. The support includes mobile child protection teams which identify, assess, and provide care and information to vulnerable children, and through a drop-in center where refugee and migrant women and children receive information, care and support. UNICEF is working in partnership with the Ministry of Labour, Social Services and Social Solidarity and the National Institute for Social Solidarity (EKKA), to enhance registration and care systems, particularly for unaccompanied children, and monitoring of their rights and needs. Additional partnership agreements are being finalized to provide legal support and case management, and care to unaccompanied children and other vulnerable groups and to provide overall monitoring of child rights.
  • Education - During the summer UNICEF plans to support the Ministry of Education with rolling out education services (such as language learning and other activities) for children in camps. In the medium-term it will help integrate refugee children into the Greek national school system through recreation and play based learning, life skills and psycho social support.
  • Health and Nutrition - UNICEF is working with the Ministry of Health on a vaccination campaign while also putting in place guidelines for promoting breastfeeding and better adherence to international nutrition standards for children as well as for pregnant and lactating mothers


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: www.unicef.org

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For further information, please contact:
Simon Ingram, UNICEF Media, Tel: +32 491 905115, singram@unicef.org




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