UNICEF Europe and Central Asia Regional Office (ECARO) works in 22 countries and territories and is present in Italy, supporting refugee and migrant populations.
As of June 2022, almost 49 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and 484,974 deaths were reported in ECA region.2 The highest peaks occurred with the spread of the Omicron variant from the end of 2021 into February 2022, while a smaller peak is observed during travel season in June. Officially, Turkmenistan maintained it had no confirmed cases.
UNICEF’s COVID-19 response in the Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region is focused on preventing transmission, mitigating the impacts on vulnerable children and families and addressing misinformation. This includes strengthening systems, services and supply provision for nutrition, health, WASH, education, social protection, risk communication and ensuring protection for at-risk children, adolescents and women.
In the first half of 2022, disasters including floods, mudflows and civil unrest affected nearly 10,000 people Central Asia. The deteriorating economic situation, increasing political tensions and geostrategic realignments, exacerbated in Central Asian countries and Caucasus by the war in Ukraine, pose a significant risk to social cohesion. UNICEF’s response continued to focus on enhancing emergency preparedness capacity, strengthening risk-informed programming, including social protection mechanisms, to build resilience and supporting response to emergencies.
In 2022, ECARO received US$ 1.6 million against the US$ 64.6 million HAC request. With an additional US$ 4.5 million from other resources and US$ 12.1 million carried forward, a funding gap of 72 percent remains.
Regional Funding Overview and Partnerships
By June 2022, UNICEF’s 2022 Europe and Central Asia Region Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) Appeal was 28 percent (US$ 18 million) funded, including other resources and carry forward from 2021, against the US$ 64.6 million ask (US$ 58.6 million for COVID-19 response and US$ 6 million for emergency preparedness and disaster risk reduction support). UNICEF’s ECAR received contributions from the Akelius Foundation, Global Thematic Humanitarian Funds and UNICEF National Committees in Romania, Serbia and Slovakia. UNICEF expresses sincere gratitude for these important contributions. In the first half of 2022, resource mobilization and partnership efforts enabled UNICEF to address urgent needs resulting from the continuing COVID-19 pandemic in the areas of health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), child protection, gender-based violence (GBV) reduction, education, youth empowerment and social behavior change (SBC) as well as to respond to immediate needs of children and families at risk of and affected by several emergencies.
At the regional level, UNICEF continued to participate in regional coordination and technical groups covering supply and logistics, risk communication and demand generation. At country level, UNICEF coordinated closely with partners, particularly the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), government partners and line ministries, non-governmental organisations (NGOS), and civil society organisations (CSOs) to develop and implement strategic actions to alleviate the negative effects of the pandemic and other emergencies.