What You Need to Know
More than 1 million refugees and migrants are expected to land on Europe's shores in 2016—roughly the same number that arrived in 2015. Once in Europe, this already vulnerable population faces a long and treacherous journey to countries welcoming refugees such as Germany and Sweden. En route, the refugees and migrants face many threats to their safety including insufficient food and water, inadequate shelter, minimal access to medical care and harsh weather conditions.
How the Migrant Crisis Affects Children
Twenty-seven percent of the more than 1 million migrants and refugees who arrived in Europe in 2015 were children. As in all humanitarian crises, children are the most vulnerable group—unable to endure the same brutal conditions that they and their parents are facing. In addition, many children are traveling through Europe without their parents, some arriving to Europe alone and some getting separated from their parents along the way. Children also face unique threats to their safety such as exploitation and child abuse.
How SOS Children’s Villages Is Responding
SOS Children’s Villages is actively supporting vulnerable children and their families at virtually every point along their journey—from Syria and Lebanon to many countries in Eastern Europe. Our long and respected presence in these countries gives us the experience and flexibility to respond quickly and effectively to this new crisis. Our main areas of focus include:
The countries where we are providing support include: Syria, Lebanon, Italy, Greece, FYR Macedonia, Serbia, Germany, Austria and Finland.
- Protection: child-friendly spaces for children; temporary care and housing for unaccompanied minors
- Health: medical and psychological support for children and their family members; hygiene kits; and health kits for babies
- Food and non-food items: baby formula, food packages, blankets and tents
- Communications: Internet connectivity and mobile charging stations