UNICEF/UNI372238/Canaj/Magnum Photos


UNICEF in Europe and Central Asia: UNICEF programming reaches vulnerable children and families Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Georgia, Greece, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

Meeting children's needs amid civil unrest, disease and displacement

Many countries in Europe and Central Asia are prone to multiple risks, from natural hazards to civil unrest and armed conflict, disease outbreaks and displacement — leaving children and women increasingly vulnerable to poor health, inadequate nutrition, school dropout, violence, exploitation and abuse.

Earthquakes are common in the region. Problems with flooding, landslides and mudslides have all gotten worse in recent years as a result of climate change and environmental degradation.

A major transit route for migrants and refugees

Southeast Europe remains a major transit route for migrants and refugees, and the COVID-19 pandemic significantly increased health and safety risks for children and families on the move. The escalation of war in Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, sent millions of children and women into neighboring European countries in a matter of weeks. Turkey hosts the world’s largest refugee population, including 1.6 million refugee children. 

Dr. Antonella Tochiaro screens a 7-year-old girl at a UNICEF-supported mobile clinic where refugee and migrant children and families living in informal settlements in Rome can receive basic medical care and health information. ©UNICEF/UNI319135/Romenzi

Learn more about how UNICEF is working ot protect the rights of refugees and other vulnerable children in Europe and Central Asia.

Learn more about UNICEF's global HAC plan for 2022 — and why this $9.4 billion emergency funding appeal to assist 177 million children affected by conflict, the climate crisis and COVID-19 is its largest ever.

Top photo: Mariva, 6, from Afghanistan, is staying with her mother on the Greek island of Lesvos, in temporary accommodation provided by UNICEF. The COVID-19 pandemic increased health and safety risks for migrants and refugees exponentially. © UNICEF/UNI372238/Canaj/Magnum Photos