On 26 November, Hussein Marge, 3-and-a-half years old, plays with a toy by railway tracks in a temporary camp near town of Idomeni, close to the border with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Hussein and his family, who are from Lebanon’s capital Beirut, are hoping to cross into the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – where the Government has begun restricting the flow of refugees and migrants on the move, and is allowing only Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans to continue their journey. About 1,300 refugees protested the Government’s decision to deny entry to people not from those three countries. Refugees and migrants flows into Europe are at an unprecedented high. By end November, over 870,000 refugees and migrants had arrived by sea in Europe since the beginning of the year. More than one in five refugees and migrants reaching Europe is a child, and children make up an estimated one-quarter of the 730,000 sea arrivals in Greece and of flows heading towards Western and Northern Europe through the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia so far this year. The main nationalities of refugees and migrants include Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis. Recent restrictions imposed by governments at several border crossings in the Balkans is creating additional hardships and challenges for refugee and migrants, including leaving some stranded at various crossing points, creating tensions and protests at border crossings, or forcing others to take further risks by taking dangerous smuggling routes to reach safety. UNICEF, together with partners UNHCR and IOM, is supporting child-friendly spaces in reception centres at border crossings along the Balkan routes, mobilizing for winter and working with governments to strengthen child protection systems for all children, including refugee and migrant children. UNICEF is also monitoring and providing assistance with partners at these points, and is providing blankets, winter clothing and other key items to meet basic needs. Unicef/2015/Gilbertson VII

Donate and help protect
Children in emergencies

£16 could provide life-saving salts to at least 55 children suffering from dehydration caused by diarrhea.

£16 could provide life-saving salts to at least 55 children suffering from dehydration caused by diarrhea.

£11 could provide 3055 water purification tablets to help families purify water in emergency situations.

£11 could provide 3055 water purification tablets to help families purify water in emergency situations.

£5 a month could help provide exercise books for 17 children so they can continue their education in times of crisis or disaster.

£5 a month could help provide exercise books for 17 children so they can continue their education in times of crisis or disaster.

£74 could help pay for school supplies to help at least 20 children continue their education in an emergency.

£74 could help pay for school supplies to help at least 20 children continue their education in an emergency.

£58 can provide an emergency water and hygiene kit for two families in an emergency.

£58 can provide an emergency water and hygiene kit for two families in an emergency.

£23 could provide a child with ready to use therapeutic food for a month in an emergency.

£23 could provide a child with ready to use therapeutic food for a month in an emergency.

Help keep a child safe when a disaster hits

Whenever or wherever disaster strikes, we respond rapidly to deliver life-saving food, medicine and water so children in danger get the help they need. We rely on money from our Children’s Emergency Fund to do this.

Right now, 59 million children face conflict, natural disasters and other complex emergencies in 50 countries across the world. Children are hardest hit – losing lives, families, homes and schools.

Our Children’s Emergency Fund goes to help children affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Matthew in the Caribbean.

We also use funds to reach children fleeing brutal conflict in countries like Syria, and to help children and their communities protect themselves from the impact of natural disasters.

There’s never been a more challenging time for children. But by donating today, you can help us reach more children – especially where there’s little media attention but the need for help is just as great.

Donate today and help keep children safe when a disaster strikes

Your gift will go directly to our Children’s Emergency Fund to save and protect children in emergencies around the world.