• Between January and March 2021, approximately 21,550 refugees and migrants* (over 17% children)** arrived in Europe. While arrivals drastically decreased in Greece (by 90%), Montenegro (64%) and Bosnia and Herzegovina (43%) compared to the same period in 2020, arrivals in Italy increased by approximately 170%, in Bulgaria (84%) and Serbia (41%).
• In Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro UNICEF support reached 5,483 children with child protection services, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), case management and referral, while over 14,887 attended formal and non-formal education activities. Around 2,846 women, girls and boys benefitted from gender-based violence (GBV) prevention and response interventions.
• As the weather becomes warmer, transit by refugee and migrant population towards and within Europe is likely to increase. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its unprecedented consequences continues to severely impact the health, wellbeing and opportunities of refugees and migrants. In addition, pushbacks at borders and violence against refugees and migrants continue to be reported.
• In 2021, UNICEF has received USD 13.8 million out of a USD 36.4 million appeal. With an additional USD 10.6 million of carry-forward funding, a funding gap of 33 percent remains. UNICEF acknowledges and appreciates the generous contributions from all public and private sector donors to support the migrant and refugee crisis.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
New arrivals in Greece, Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro between January and March 2021 are estimated at 21,5501 . Over 17%2 , 58,150, are children, including 11,250 unaccompanied and separated children (UASC). Newly arrived populations are mainly from Tunisia (19.3%), Algeria (12.7%), Morocco (7.1%), Bangladesh (7%), Afghanistan (6%), Cote d’Ivoire (5.9%) and Syria (5.6%)3 . Other declared countries of origin include Algeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iran, Iraq, Myanmar, Pakistan and Somalia.
With the arrival of spring and milder weather during the reporting period, movement within and between countries increased and is expected to do so further in the next few months. Some countries experiencing deteriorating COVID-19 epidemiological trends imposed new restrictions which added complexity and distress to the situation of refugees and migrants. These include restrictions on movement and quarantine measures that make it difficult for refugees and migrants to find or keep jobs.
Access to protection, health, and education services and the provision of adequate WASH and non-food items remain challenges.