Emergency Response Program

Refugee Crisis in Europe

The Situation in Brief

What You Need to Know

The worst refugee crisis since World War II has seen more than 65 million people worldwide flee their homes because of war, drought, extreme poverty, and other threats to their safety. Once displaced from their homes, refugees often face new dangers, which include a lack of safe housing, adequate food and medical care as they make their way to Europe in search of refuge.

More than 10 million child refugees have had to abandon their childhoods and take treacherous journeys in search of the stability and safety that ongoing violence and conflict has taken from them.

How the Refugee Crisis Impacts Children

Worldwide conflict has exacted a severe psychological and physical toll on millions of displaced children. They have seen their childhoods vanish and their families killed. As refugees, these vulnerable children are subject to trafficking, exploitation and discrimination.

people are forced to flee their homes every day because of conflict and persecution
people have been forcibly displaced
of the global refugee population are children
children live outside their country of birth, including 11 million child refugees and asylum-seekers

SOS Children’s Villages Impact

How Supporters Like You Are Making a Difference

The number of refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants to Europe significantly increased in the beginning of 2015. Since then, SOS has provided support to refugee children and their families as they travel thousands of miles in search of refuge in Europe. Thanks to help from our supporters, we offer assistance to displaced children and their families all along their journey — both in transit and upon arrival in a host country — in the form of shelter, food, medical and psychological support.

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 evolving crisis.

Child Protection

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Children make up more than half of the global refugee population. Some of these children are separated from their parents in transit, while others have traveled alone from the beginning. By themselves on a dangerous journey, children are at high risk of being forced into child labor, human trafficking, or others forms of exploitation. SOS has set up temporary care centers throughout Europe and in the Middle East to provide a safe space for unaccompanied children.

Comprehensive, Lasting Care

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No one is more vulnerable to the impact of war than a child. That’s why SOS Children’s Villages provides comprehensive care for child refugees and their families. SOS provides medical care to as well as mental health services to help refugees overcome the trauma, both physical and psychological, they’ve endured. Trained counselors work with children to help them confront and ultimately overcome the trauma they’ve experienced in their search for stability.

Food and Basic Necessities

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Many host countries struggle to provide basic necessities to the ever-growing influx of refugees. To fill the gaps, SOS supports refugee and migrant families by providing nutritious food, clean water, hygiene kits, baby formula, tents, blankets and other necessities.

Keeping Families Connected

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SOS works to build families for orphaned and abandoned children and to strengthen vulnerable families to help keep them together. To this end, SOS offers refugees the ability to contact and reconnect with their families through the use of ICT Corners, which offer internet connectivity, mobile charging stations and games for children.

Help Refugee Children
WATCH VIDEOS: Your Compassion in Action

Thanks to generous people like you, we have been able to change the lives of tens of thousands of vulnerable children and families in countries like Finland, Greece, Armenia, Germany and others.


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