The European Commission today unlocks additional financial support for UNICEF, providing €2 million to assist 170 000 infants, children and mothers with 24/7 operational child friendly spaces in which families can rest, receive first aid and essentials for the winter months such as clothes and blankets.
"We cannot turn a blind eye to the most vulnerable at this critical time. Many refugee children and their parents need food, hygiene, warm clothes and protection in the Western Balkans, as the winter months set in. Our humanitarian aid will get crucial support to families in Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", said EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.
In 2015, the Commission is providing humanitarian aid amounting to over €8.74 million in the Western Balkans.
The funding is part of the €17 million aid package announced in early October to help Serbia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia cope with the refugee influx.
This funding follows joint steps by the Commission and the UNHCR to implement the commitments agreed at the Leaders' Meeting on the Western Balkans Migration Route and the 17-point action plan.
Since January 2015, over 322,000 migrants are estimated to have crossed the Western Balkans, the vast majority through the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia.
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