UNICEF, Red Cross and USAID providing vital support for children and families in response to COVID-19
Obrenovac, Serbia, 24 April 2020 – UNICEF and the Red Cross of Serbia, with financial support from USAID, today delivered vital hygiene supplies to a Roma settlement in the Veliko Polje village, in the Obrenovac municipality, to support the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Serbia.
The hygiene kits contain soaps, shampoos, dishwashing and laundry detergents, toilet paper, as well as information materials in Serbian and Roma languages on COVID-19 symptoms and guidance on protection measures against the disease.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 in Serbia, UNICEF, in cooperation with the Red Cross of Serbia, has distributed 2,700 hygiene kits along with information related to the novel coronavirus protection. Additional distribution is ongoing to families living in poverty, children and youth living in residential institutions, foster families, and refugee and migrant families.
“Only through strong collaboration with governments, businesses and partners can we ensure life-saving supplies continue to reach children most in need. In these uncertain times, UNICEF, together with its partners, is demonstrating the importance of working together for the health and well-being of every child,” said Regina De Dominicis, UNICEF Representative in Serbia. “We are grateful for the support of USAID and the Red Cross that made this delivery possible in a time of unprecedented challenges.”
UNICEF is supporting partners in Serbia to meet the increasing needs of the communities and address its impacts on children and families.
Prof. Dr Dragan Radovanovic, President of the Red Cross of Serbia, thanked UNICEF and USAID for their exceptional cooperation in providing vital support to the most vulnerable households in the form of hygiene packages. “Since the beginning of the COVID-19 public health crisis, the Red Cross of Serbia has been extremely active in local communities, helping those who need it most. We thank UNICEF and USAID for their significant support to Roma families with children who, in addition to socio-economic vulnerability, are also at risk of COVID-19 infection. With this donation, we are supporting the hygiene habits of families and contributing to reducing the risk of infection. As part of its response to COVID-19, the Red Cross of Serbia supports other vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, through the work of our mobile teams, as well as other at-risk citizens who contact the Red Cross info lines.”
The procurement of hygiene kits and the development and distribution of information materials were made possible thanks to the financial support of USAID, which has supported UNICEF Serbia with US$ 500,000.
"We’re really pleased to see that the distribution of kits that we supported through USAID has begun. As we’re seeing around the world, there are so many more facets to this crisis than just the medical side. As businesses and public institutions like schools shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, real people are struggling, with the most vulnerable households the worst affected. That’s why the U.S. Embassy thought it was so important to support this effort as one more part of our assistance to Serbia. We care about all of you. We are in this together, and we’ll get out of it together. Stay safe everyone," said Anthony Godfrey, US Ambassador to the Republic of Serbia.
UNICEF, together with its partners and donors, has been supporting the Government to respond to the pandemic through risk communications and community engagement, through the procurement of PPE equipment and ventilators, as well as monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 health crisis on families with children. UNICEF has developed and disseminated messages, infographics, and audio-visual material informing the public about the risks of COVID-19 across the country, and how to protect oneself.
Today’s delivery is part of UNICEF’s global response to the pandemic. UNICEF is working with governments, partners and communities around the world to support the fight against COVID-19.
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 for children, visit www.unicef.org/serbia