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1.3 million

Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Building Child Resilience at the heart of new UNICEF and ECHO Agreement

Print version
16 January 2015
Press release
1 1 Photos

ALMATY/GENEVA/BRUSSELS, 16 January 2015 - UNICEF and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) signed a new partnership agreement to further advance disaster risk reduction (DRR) in countries prone to natural disasters in the Central Asia and South Caucasus region. The €1.8 million programme, of which €1.35 million is the European Commission's contribution, will implement activities in disaster-prone communities at national and local level.

The new programme aims at replicating good practices from previous DRR initiatives to sustain past successes in the education sector and beyond and ensure resilience at all levels. These include further integration of disaster risk reduction in education curricula, organization of teacher training programmes, and strengthening of disaster risk management within schools.

“This initiative enables regional advocacy, learning and sharing of good practices – an important result, given the similar national disaster and climate risk profiles faced by countries in the region,” said Kirsi Madi, UNICEF Deputy Regional Director, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

UNICEF will showcase and improve policy and practice on DRR in government institutions in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

In all seven countries, UNICEF will support the institutionalization of achievements, incorporating DRR into their education systems and ensuring the replication of successful DRR initiatives. Selected schools will be set up as centres of excellence in rural and urban centres to promote peer-to-peer learning among schools. School-based disaster risk reduction will be further highlighted to ensure endorsement and replication in each country.

“We believe that this new UNICEF programme funded by the European Commission will benefit current and future generations of schoolchildren, students and teachers by strengthening their capacity to respond adequately in case of eventual natural disasters. It will play an important role in helping to increase the resilience of their communities,” said Claus H. Sorensen, Director- General, ECHO, European Commission.

In all seven countries, UNICEF works across different sectors such as education, healthcare, child protection and social protection and will work with national ministries to incorporate DRR into programme areas. At the sub-national level, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan will revise, adapt and pilot a sub-national risk analysis process, focusing on the most vulnerable people, especially children.


About the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)

The European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) is one of the biggest donors for humanitarian aid worldwide. With its funding nearly 20 million victims of natural or man - made disasters are helped each year in about 70 countries. The aid is distributed through 200 partner organizations (Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, specialized UN agencies, and European NGOs) impartially to those who need it most. For further information please visit:


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

To know more about the EU-UNICEF Partnership for Children visit

For further information please contact:

Rebekka Opfermann, UNICEF Brussels, +32 2 5050 106,

Caroline Gluck, DG ECHO, Regional Support Office – Amman, Jordan,

Author: UNICEF

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UNICEF is the driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized. We have the global authority to influence decision-makers, and the variety of partners at grassroots level to turn the most innovative ideas into reality. That makes us unique among world organizations, and unique among those working with the young.

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