Tuesday, 7 September 2021

UNICEF: Children Under 13 in Croatia Have Profiles on Social Networks

ZAGREB, 7 Sept, 2021 - Two-thirds of young people surveyed in Croatia (61%) opened a profile on social networks before they turned 13, a UNICEF survey shows, warning that young people leave their mobile phone numbers and photographs online without any control.

Even though profiles on social networks are not allowed for children under the age of 13, 5% of respondents opened a profile when they were aged 7 or 8 and 16% had one at age 9 or 10, UNICEF warned after conducting the survey in collaboration with the HURA market communications NGO.

The survey was conducted among 1,092 children and young people, showing that children opened profiles on social networks at a very young age and that they left their mobile phone numbers and photographs online without any obstacles, so they can access free online content such as music or videos.

One-fifth of the children surveyed said that they had noticed inappropriate ads for adults on social networks and websites, including pornography and explicit photographs, as well as adds for alcohol, cigarettes, gambling and so on.

A significant number gave their mobile phone number (35%) or photographs (18%). The survey also showed that more than one-third of those surveyed (37%) didn't know what the role of cookies was on social networks.

When it comes to influencers, the majority of those surveyed (88%) said that influencers did not impact their purchases.

UNICEF has issued recommendations for responsible digital marketing and advertising towards children, including the need to protect the personal data of children and young people and to develop media and digital literacy among children and parents.

Children must not be exposed to ads for food with high fat, sugar and salt content or to ads for alcohol, tobacco, lotteries, medication, aesthetic operations while influencer promoted products on digital media always have to be advertised in a clear manner for children, UNICEF underscored.

For more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 26 May 2021

Friends of Croatia: UNICEF - Croatia an Example to the World When it Comes to Breastfeeding

May 27, 2021 - The sixth article in the "Friends of Croatia: UNICEF" series explores the work of the UNICEF Office for Croatia. What is done regarding children's rights in Croatia, positives, and negatives, and how can you help if you want to?

To ensure that our world even stays the same, let alone improves, new generations are essential. But, before they grow old enough to participate in society, society must first take care of the youngest ones to grow and develop. Society must ensure for kids that they grow up in families filled with love, make sure that kids can go to school, that they are healthy, safe from violence, that they are not hungry or thirsty, and give them overall opportunity to make it in the world. 

Basically, children have rights, and they are in more detail elaborated in 54 articles. For more details, have a look at the Convention on the Rights of the Child that came to power on September 2, 1990, by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

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Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative with children with disabilities in Centre Tomislav Špoljar in Varaždin © Marin Ilej/UNICEF

The UN is dedicated to seeing this Convention is being respected, and United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund, commonly known as UNICEF, specializes in the issues of children's rights. Established in the aftermath of World War II, UNICEF has been at the frontlines of humanitarian crises, armed conflict, and natural disasters.

„Undeterred by the scale of the crises, we rise to the challenge, reimagine what is possible and respond by helping millions of children survive and thrive. Our on-the-ground expertise has reached more than 191 countries and territories, through committed partnerships and a passion for innovation“, says UNICEF on its official website.

Croatia signed and agreed with the Convention, and UNICEF today has its own office in Zagreb. Furthermore, it's worth noting that UNICEF has existed for 75 years, and despite firstly coming to Croatian territory while the country was part of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, UNICEF has been with Croatia since the organization was established.

„Many people do not know that UNICEF helped to eradicate malaria in Croatia and that UNICEF played a key role in the development of modern dairy. Dairies were built in Zagreb, Rijeka, and Split, and factories for the production of powder milk in Osijek and Županja. Milk was distributed in schools, and for many children, it was their only meal during the day“, says Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF Office for Croatia representative.

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Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative © Marin Ilej/UNICEF

The UNICEF representative is elected for a five-year mandate, and Regina M. Castillo came to her function in Croatia in 2019. Her career in the UN started in 2001 and was in charge of economic and social questions in the Executive Office of the UN chief secretary Kofi Annan in New York. This was followed by Castilla moving to work in the mutual program for HIV/AIDS, known as UNAIDS. She was first the director of private sector partnerships in Geneva (2006-2012) and then moved to be the director for Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru (2012-2015). She majored in International relations and public politics.

Born in Nicaragua, she first started her career in the 1990s as a diplomat, and she was also the headmistress for international trade in the Nicaraguan Trading Ministry.  

Helping Croatia before it was cool (or an independent country)

Castillo went on to continue that after World War 2, UNICEF fed six million children every day, which included many children in Croatia.

„One of those children was our dear colleague, prof. Josip Grgurić, who is still working tirelessly for the youngest. He still remembers the yellow cheese that was part of UNICEF's humanitarian package for families, as well as the chocolate that he then tasted for the first time. He later worked at the children's hospital in Klaićeva, which UNICEF helped found, and he still works hard on UNICEF’s Child-Friendly Hospital Initiative“, says Castillo indicating how valuable but also inspiring UNICEF can be to children. Castillo added that in the Homeland War, UNICEF was the first organization on the ground, making sure that children and families received the necessary psychosocial support and humanitarian packages. After the war, they educated children on how to protect themselves from landmines. 

Today Croatia developed, joined NATO and EU, and is a modern European country. With such progress, there have been many improvements in respect to children and their rights.

„Croatia has a low mortality rate of children under the age of five, extremely low stunted growth rate due to inadequate nutrition in the first years of life and the enrolment rate of children in primary school is almost 100 per cent“, pointed out Castillo.

„Croatia is an example in the world when it comes to the promotion of breastfeeding. It is rare that all public maternity wards in a country have the status of 'Child-Friendly Hospital'. With the support of UNICEF, partners have organized a network of breastfeeding support groups, and now we have more than 200 support groups in Croatia“, added Castillo on what the world can look up to this small South-Eastern European country.

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Regina M. Castillo at Human milk bank © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

Still, there are some issues Croatia needs to address and are far from ideal at the moment.

„There are still differences when it comes to access to services for children, depending on where they live and the conditions in which they grow up. Children with disabilities, as well as children from the poorest families, especially in rural areas, often do not have the opportunity to attend kindergarten and do not have the same access to specialized health services and therapies as children in urban areas. The focus of UNICEF in Croatia is on the most marginalized children: children with disabilities or developmental delays, children growing up without adequate parental care, children from minority groups, children at the risk of poverty and exclusion. UNICEF’s programs are focused on the well-being and protection of every child, with a special focus on the most vulnerable children“, pointed out Castillo.

Campaigns and programmes such as “Every child needs a family”, “The first three are the most important”, and “Stop violence among children” are perhaps the most known public action by UNICEF in Croatia, but returning to the good practices of breastfeeding, Castillo emphasizes the establishment of the Human Milk Bank in her current mandate.

„Thanks to the Human Milk Bank, prematurely born and seriously ill newborns (who do not have access to their own mother's milk) can receive milk donated by other mothers. We continually work on reducing the risk of disasters, support the development of quality foster care and provide support to parents in the upbringing and care of children through workshops and we work a lot with young people“, said Castillo.

In general, UNICEF has different types of offices in countries, and regarding the Croatian office, it’s a Country Office. In other words, most of the resources (human and financial) are invested in programs in Croatia. Castillo says that the five-year mandates have priorities that are determined in cooperation with partners. And while 80 percent of the funds raised are invested in programs for girls and boys in Croatia, there are funds and support programs for children outside of the country.

“For example, in 2018, UNICEF supported child health care in parts of Ukraine affected by the conflict and helped the building of five inclusive children's playgrounds in two refugee camps in Jordan in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in 2019. Through the ‘Schools for Africa’ program ​​, which includes many kindergartens and schools throughout Croatia, UNICEF supports the education of girls and boys in Madagascar", Castillo listed several examples. 

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Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF office for Croatia representative with children on Media Literacy days press conference with Radovan Fuchs Minister of Science and Education, Krešimir Partl, State Secretary at Ministry of culture and media and Robert Tomljenović, Deputy Director of the Council for Electronic Media © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

Overall, the UNICEF Office for Croatia works closely with the Croatian Government, and most notably, with the Ministries of Social Welfare, Education, Health, and the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. Other partners also include experts (Croatian experts, but also building on expertise and good practice from all over the world), professional associations, academia, services providers, and NGOs.

“UNICEF’s goal is to connect all stakeholders and to advocate and support systemic change for the well-being of all children. System change is a gradual process, and it can be challenging, but when it comes to children’s rights, every step forward is well worth the effort”, explained Castillo.

Croatian citizens showing support for UNICEF

On one hand, Croatia is a good country with low mortality rates of kids and a role model for breastfeeding promotions. On the other hand, however, peer to peer violence (on whose suppression the aforementioned “Stop violence among children“ campaign works heavily on), and unequal approach to education between rural and urban areas show Croatia has both its ups and downs. Unfortunately. The downside sometimes overshadows all the positive things.

One such instance was the tragic death of a two-year-old girl from Nova Gradiška on Easter Sunday. The death of a severely injured girl, who was brought to Zagreb's children's hospital after suffering abuse and heavy beating from her biological parents (and from whom the girl was taken and given to a foster family but was then returned back to biological parents), sparked controversy and citizens outrage, culminating in changes in social welfare law, as well as sacks and investigations in the welfare center in Nova Gradiška.  

„We are deeply saddened by the tragic death of two-and-a-half-year-old Nikoll on Easter Sunday. There are no words to express the pain of such a terrible event. Unfortunately, there are no simple and quick solutions to prevent violence against children. For years, UNICEF in Croatia has been continuously and persistently working in the field of child protection, educating experts from the social welfare system, but also other experts who work with children and families, such as experts from the health care, education, and justice systems. UNICEF implements various support programs for parents, and it is fully committed to the development of foster care and the improvement of the legislative framework. However, UNICEF is also aware that society as a whole, has a long way to go to achieve the goal that every girl and every boy is guaranteed the best possible care and protection. UNICEF will continue to work actively, persistently, and dedicatedly with all partners to achieve it”, commented Castillo.

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Regina M. Castillo talking on Media Literacy days press conference © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

However, Croatians recognize the importance of the UNICEF mission. Before Covid, UNICEF annually collaborated with the Museum of Illusions on the Museum of Reality exhibition which displayed the problems children faced worldwide, but which also showed what changes and solutions UNICEF brought to those areas. 

“Experience tells us that citizens are ready to support the youngest, in Croatia and beyond. Implementation of our programs would not be possible without the support from citizens and companies that placed the focus of their CSR activities precisely on children. We especially value the support from our Childhood Guardians, donors who support our work with regular monthly donations and allow us to regularly conduct our programs for boys and girls, as well as react quickly with much-needed assistance in crisis situations like the earthquakes in Croatia and the COVID-19 pandemic that affected all families. UNICEF is always in the field with the most vulnerable children and their families”, notes Castillo.

In the end is important to note, that while children are recognised as a particularly vulnerable group, all human rights apply equally to children. 

“All the rights enshrined in the Convention apply to every child, regardless of a child’s country of origin, gender, religion, and nationality. Every child, by birth, has all his/her rights, the right to grow up in a safe environment, to have a family, to have access to health care and education, to be able to play and develop his/her interests and reach his/her full potential”, concludes Castillo.

The five-year mandate is an agreement that sets priorities in advance, so Castillo warned that there is no opportunity for making donations outside of that framework. UNICEF office occasionally does get messages from citizens who need advice or help on issues outside of that frame, but nevertheless, UNICEF can offer them help by referring them to institutions and addresses that can offer citizens the necessary support, financial support, or information. 

With expertise mentioned several times throughout this story as the insurance of delivering the best solutions to issues children face, UNICEF is always on the lookout for new people. If you want to make a change in the world while earning a fair wage yourself, check out what expertise UNICEF is looking for right now.

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Regina M. Castillo on a foster family gathering © Marin Ilej/UNICEF 

UNICEF Croatian Office is situated on Radnička cesta 41/7. To inform the public of their work, they built a considerable presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Linkedin. You can also find all UNICEF-related info for Croatia on their official website, and contact them via mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on phone numbers: +385 1 2442 660 and +385 1 2442 661. You can use the website to donate to a cause in Croatia too. Additionally, there are numbers: +385 1 4095 855, +385 99 2692 196, and +385 91 621 1039 for more details on donating to Croatia as well as e-mail address This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You can also leave a donation to UNICEF in your will, and a phone number +385 1 3031 640 specializes for the issue in Croatia. If you find yourself in Croatia and you want to volunteer for UNICEF, more info can be found by sending a mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and on phone number +385 1 3031 646.

And of course, you can donate for a good cause to UNICEF for any action the fund is internationally involved in. 

To read more from the series "Friends of Croatia", follow TCN's dedicated page.

For more about UNICEF in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 18 April 2021

Media Literacy Days To Be Held on April 19-25

April 18, 2021 - The Electronic Media Agency (AEM) and UNICEF Croatia will organize Media Literacy Days on April 19-25, focusing on the impact of media on the mental health of children and adolescents.

"Apart from mental health, the event will focus also on the current problem of misinformation and fake news, influencers and generally the development of critical thinking about media content as well as ways to better understand how different types of media function," the AEM said.

It noted that these topics are dealt with in new educational materials, which it will be possible to download from the web portal, where materials published in past years are also available for teachers and parents.

The project is supported, as in previous years, by the ministries of culture and media and science and education.

The purpose of the project is to raise public awareness of the importance of media literacy, empower citizens with media literacy skills, create a platform for cooperation among numerous social stakeholders, develop sustainable media literacy projects, and support teachers by developing education material for media literacy, the AEM said.

Considering the coronavirus pandemic, the event will largely be held online.

For more about news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page

Friday, 29 January 2021

UNICEF Providing Psychosocial Support in Earthquake-Hit Area

ZAGREB, 29 January, 2021 - Mobile teams of selected experts in psychosocial support for children and families in the areas of Glina, Petrinja and Sisak, hit by a devastating earthquake on 29 December, have started working, their priority being foster families.

The project was initiated by the Labour, Pension System, Family Affairs and Social Policy Ministry and the Society for Psychological Assistance with support from UNICEF, UNICEF said on Friday.

Mobile teams will give priority to foster families, notably those whose homes have been damaged, and at-risk families included in social welfare programmes.

There are 49 foster families in Sisak-Moslavina County and 32 of them live in the areas hit by the earthquake.

Those families care for 125 foster children, and 82 live in Sisak, Petrinja and Glina.

Marina Ajduković of the Society for Psychological Assistance said that in situations such as natural disasters it was important to provide psychosocial support to children and young people and their families so as to reduce their anxiety, fear and mental suffering.

Around 50% of children exhibit various anxiety-related symptoms even six months after a traumatic event and even though most children gradually recover after an earthquake, 25-30% of them exhibit chronic or prolonged symptoms of depression and/or anxiety, she warned.

In cooperation with its partners on the ground, UNICEF will organise space and places for play and psychosocial support for children temporarily accommodated in container settlements and shelters.

Wednesday, 30 December 2020

UNICEF Launches Campaign to Help Child Victims of Croatian Earthquake

December the 30th, 2020 - Due to the devastating earthquakes that hit Sisak-Moslavina County, especially the areas of ​​Petrinja, Sisak and Glina, central Croatia is currently facing an enormous humanitarian crisis, and the needs and challenges are constantly growing. As such, UNICEF has launched a campaign to aid kids suffering as a result of the latest devastating Croatian earthquake.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, in order to respond to the crisis, UNICEF is preparing to deliver key supplies and protective equipment to the affected areas and to provide psychosocial assistance to children and parents affected by this Croatian earthquake, as well as support to kindergartens, schools and health facilities, and social welfare institutions. This crisis has a devastating long-term effect on the lives of children who are particularly vulnerable to such instances. It is important to protect them and alleviate their difficult situation, and even long after the earthquake - they will continue to need special care.

UNICEF has launched a campaign and is calling on all Croatian residents, companies and the media to get involved and help children and families in earthquake-ravaged areas with their donations. Everyone needs support and help in order to overcome these difficult challenges together and to provide support and security to the most vulnerable children and families in the coming period.

UNICEF has already launched the procurement of emergency supplies and equipment and, in cooperation with numerous institutions, is busy assessing long-term needs, and given the growing challenges, is calling on the people of Croatia and domestic companies to donate to help children and families in Petrinja, Sisak, Glina and other areas affected by this terrible Croatian earthquake.

Donations to children and families in earthquake-ravaged areas help ensure:

Hygiene supplies and protective equipment
Psychosocial assistance for children and parents
Support to kindergartens and schools
Support to health facilities and social services.
Donations can be made on this website: https://www.unicef.hr/pomozite-djeci-pogodjenoj-potresima/ and to the UNICEF account number: HR1723600001501092524, reference number 2068-98.

For more on the Petrinja earthquake, follow today's live updates. For more on how you can help, click here.

Saturday, 21 November 2020

UNICEF Recognizes Arena Hospitality Group for Respecting Children's Rights

November 21, 2020 - UNICEF recognizes Arena Hospitality Group as a Croatian company with responsible business practices for children.

HRTurizam reports that to mark World Children's Day, the UNICEF Advisory Board for Children's Rights and Corporate Social Responsibility presented examples of Croatian companies that show good business practices for children at an online conference.

The project aims to find out how individual companies in Croatia respect children's rights in practice, strengthen the visibility of business practices of Croatian companies that respect the child's rights and welfare, and thus motivate other companies to more actively engage in children's rights.

The project was implemented through practices and policies in various areas - from a workplace tailored to children and families through products and services that support children's rights, contribute to the community, and preserve the environment in which children grow and develop.

One of the positive examples comes from the Croatian tourism sector.

Namely, Arena Hospitality Group has been recognized by UNICEF as a Croatian company with responsible business practices for children.

Arena Hospitality Group is one of the first companies in Croatia to adopt a policy to protect children in its business processes and activities.

"We are proud that Arena Hospitality Group was selected among 14 companies as the only hotel and tourism company that demonstrated good and positive practices towards children," said Arena Arena Hospitality Group (AHG), adding that AHG's child protection policy defines in great detail the circumstances, responsibilities, legal basis, processes of action and all other information necessary for an adequate response.

"Although called a policy, the document goes beyond policy because it defines operational processes and contains elements of the Code of Conduct, Rules of Procedure for Children - especially in the field of employment of minors," said the Arena Hospitality Group.

To gain knowledge about the socially responsible business that respects and promotes children's rights, AHG representatives attended UNICEF's CSR Academy, "Children are our most important job" in 2019. Following the training, the AHG Group, in cooperation with UNICEF, began assessing the impact of its business on children's rights (Children's Rights Impact Assessment).

AHG implements and will implement policies and practices that contribute to children's rights, monitor their implementation and report on results, and act correctively to benefit children. As part of its annual financial and non-financial reports, AHG also provides an overview of the entire corporate social responsibility and includes activities carried out concerning children and the protection of their rights.

"We want to be the initiators of positive changes and good practices in our environment, and we hope that more and more companies will follow the same path. We believe that the greatest value for the future is the creation of a long-term sustainable and responsible business model, which includes, among other things, a child protection policy based on the principles of protecting children and their health, safety and well-being, and development. We met and started working with UNICEF a few years ago on another project, but since then, we have seen them as a new friend and a “strong” partner with the best international experience in guiding a company like ours. We believe that our joint journey has just begun… because, let's not forget, children are our most important job," said Manuela Kraljević, Member of the Management Board and Director of Marketing and Sales of AHG.

Approximately 800,000 children under 18 live in Croatia, which is about 20% of the total population. There are almost no companies that do not directly or indirectly affect their lives.

In her review of Croatia's current situation regarding business practices responsible for children, the head of the UNICEF Office for Croatia, Regina M. Castillo, pointed out that every company - whether small or large - directly or indirectly affects the lives of children.

"That is why it is imperative that the business sector, through its daily business and in developing strategic plans, has in mind the best interests of the child. We are proud of this initiative, which through cooperation with young people has shown for the first time how some Croatian companies implement responsible initiatives for children and their families. We believe that the isolated business practices will serve as an inspiration for other companies to implement similar initiatives in Croatia and maximize results for children."

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

UNICEF Says Croatia Has Relatively High Breastfeeding Rates

ZAGREB, Aug 2, 2020 - On the occasion of the 30th World Breastfeeding Week, UNICEF said that Croatia remains among the countries with relatively high breastfeeding rates, with two in three babies under two months of age and 57% of children aged three to five months breastfed.

Breastfeeding has invaluable importance for every child's health, notably premature babies and those whose health is compromised, the head of UNICEF's Croatia office, Regina M. Castillo, said in a press release.

That's why it's especially important to promote in every situation breastfeeding as the best choice and to give mothers the necessary support and information on the long-term benefits that breastfeeding brings both babies and mothers, she added.

All maternity hospitals in Croatia are baby-friendly

The high breastfeeding rate is also a result of Croatia's commitment to the "Baby-Friendly Maternity Hospitals" initiative because all hospitals in the country are baby-friendly, according to the press release.

A new challenge, it says, lies in the sustainability of the initiative, the development of the "mother and baby-friendly maternity hospital" initiative, and the promotion of breastfeeding in intensive care units for premature babies.

The protection, promotion and support of breastfeeding is a Croatian public health priority and part of the national health development strategy. The Health Ministry has recognised the importance of establishing a human milk bank as a key investment in the well-being of babies and ensuring the highest standard of healthcare for premature and seriously sick babies who do not have access to mother's milk.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

UNICEF Donates 10 Oxygenators to Croatia

ZAGREB, July 28, 2020 - UNICEF on Tuesday donated 10 oxygenators to the Croatian Civil Protection Directorate, and these medical devices can be used by patients who need oxygen therapy.

Presenting the donation worth HRK 52,600, the UNICEF Croatia office head Regina Castillo said that the corona crisis affected each family and had a significant impact on the life of children.

Damir Trut of the Civil Protection Directorate thanked her for the donation and help which UNICEF has been providing since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In cooperation with the Croatian government and with the support of its partners, businesses, donors and citizens, UNICEF has provided medical and protective equipment for health workers, advice, guidelines and recommendations for families with children, and supported the online education of children and provision of social welfare services, especially for the most vulnerable families and children.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

UNICEF Donates HRK 480,000 For Upgrading Distance Learning

ZAGREB, June 3, 2020 - UNICEF Croatia has donated over HRK 480,000 for upgrading the infrastructure needed for secure distance learning, its officials said on Wednesday.

The procurement of a new data storage system enables a secure and quality implementation of online education in Croatia, a press release said.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the amount of data in CARNET (Croatian Academic and Research Network) systems increased multifold in a short time, so UNICEF has invested in tape libraries so that all data and contents can be safely stored.

This step, it was said, has long term effects on education also as children will use virtual classrooms and online learning tools also after returning to school.

Science and Education Minister Blazenka Divjak said distance learning in Croatia was a pioneering endeavour thanks to which education was ensured for students in extraordinary circumstances due to the pandemic.

"Thanks to the curricular reform in schools, we equipped them in time, creating the prerequisites so that this type of teaching could be possible," she said, thanking the donors.

"Since distance learning began, half a million teachers and students daily have been accessing numerous apps, services, and tools via their electronic identity in the [email protected] system," said CARNET director Goran Kezunovic.

The head of UNICEF Croatia, Regina M. Castillo, said education was not just the right of every child but the biggest opportunity they could be given.

UNICEF has also worked on providing tablets and SIM cards for needy children as well as on the preparation of guidelines and advice on COVID-19 so that children, parents, and experts are informed in time and correctly, she added.

(€1 = HRK 7.58)

Monday, 18 May 2020

Denmark Supports UNICEF's Activities for Fighting Epidemic in Croatia

ZAGREB, May 18, 2020 - Denmark's government has supported UNICEF's global humanitarian response plan for fighting the coronavirus pandemic, and HRK 2.4 million have been allocated for helping children in Croatia, UNICEF said on Monday.

The funds will be used to implement UNICEF's priority programmes to support children and families at high risk in Croatia, whose lives have been affected by the pandemic and its serious socioeconomic consequences.

Denmark supports the UN's strong and coordinated activities which at the same time address immediate humanitarian needs and long-term socioeconomic consequences. Denmark has thus supported UNICEF's global response plan for the COVID-19 pandemic with HRK 50 million, and I am pleased that part of these funds would go to UNICEF's support for children in Croatia, said Christian Thorning, Ambassador of Denmark to Croatia.

Regina M. Castillo, UNICEF's Representative in Croatia, has thanked for the financial aid and underscored that the pandemic is a health crisis that also becomes a children's rights crisis.

Although it seems that the coronavirus leaves most children with minor health consequences, the secondary effects on children, especially on those from most vulnerable groups, are much more far-reaching. Many health, education and social services have been suspended. Some parents have lost their jobs and families are under increasing pressure, Castillo added.

Within the national campaign "Together against the Coronavirus", UNICEF provides children and families in Croatia with the support that includes purchasing protective and medical equipment, disinfectants, hygiene supplies and other priority equipment, as well as support for children and families facing socioeconomic challenges and at risk of poverty.

Globally, UNICEF's activities for fighting the pandemic are aimed at providing access to healthcare services, food, clean water and sanitation, as well as supporting the education and protection of children.

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