A national charity has created safe spaces to support the millions of refugees in need of support in Ukraine.
UNICEF estimates there are around 18 million people in need of assistance, including 7.5 million children. The charity believes there are around 500,000 people who are on the move.
“About 500,000 families are being forcibly displaced from Ukraine, leading to a dramatic escalation of humanitarian needs,” the charity states. “UNICEF is already seeing vast swathes of families, including children, attempting to leave via neighbouring countries including Poland and Romania.”
In response to this the charity has reactivated its “Blue Dot” safe spaces that provide crucial support and protection services to families on the move.
‘Blue Dot’ safe spaces
These spaces are set up in close coordination with national and local authorities along routes of major population flows – often in conjunction with municipalities. They connect to one another in a sequenced way, as people move, to help support tracing and family reunification.
At the Blue Dot spaces, people can access key information on travelling, psychosocial support, safe spaces for mothers and children, and the ability to identify protection risks.
UNICEF plans to set up 26 Blue Dots, with the capacity to provide support to 3,000-5,000 people per day, per location, in Moldova, Romania, Belarus, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary, and Czech Republic. One of the first Blue Dots is now up and running in Sighet on the Romania – Ukraine border.
Daniel Walden, senior emergencies specialist, UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), told Smiley News: “In response to the dramatic escalation of humanitarian need, UNICEF has reactivated “Blue Dot” safe spaces for people seeking refuge from Ukraine.
“Eight years ago there was a need to provide essential services for children and families uprooted by conflict and climate change. We’re seeing that same intense and urgent need as one million families seek safety and security in Ukraine’s neighbouring countries.
“For those who have walked or travelled for hours these Blue Dot zones will provide the much-needed respite and access to essential services as they continue on their journey to safety and security.
“As the humanitarian needs surge, UNICEF UK continues to seek the generous support of the public to help meet the needs of those affected by the conflict. ”
How can you support?
UNICEF has been working around the clock to keep children safe since this conflict began eight years ago – as things escalate now, they are committed to staying and delivering.
You can help by donating to UNICEF UK’s appeal: unicefuk/ukrainedonate.