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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit UNICEF’s life-saving Emergency Supply Centre to highlight desperate plight of children in East Africa

2011-10-27

October 26, 2011 - On Wednesday November 2, 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be making a special visit to UNICEF’s global Supply Centre in Copenhagen to help put the global spotlight back onto the humanitarian crisis in East Africa, which has left more than 320,000 children so severely malnourished that they are at imminent risk of starving to death unless they get urgent help.

UNICEF’s Supply Centre has a warehouse the size of three soccer fields. It sources, packs and distributes essential supplies including UNICEF Canada Survival Gifts for children around the globe, such as food, water, special nutritional supplies for the most malnourished children, vaccines and emergency medical kits.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be accompanied on the visit by The Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark. Their Royal Highnesses together will seek to raise awareness of the crisis in East Africa, an area well known to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and to encourage the public to support UNICEF’s appeal for funds to help millions of children at risk.

The Canadian public has been hugely generous in their response to news of the devastating crisis unfolding in East Africa, and life-saving supplies are getting through to children and families affected.

So far, UNICEF has delivered more than 10,000 metric tones of supplies to the region, treated 108,000 severely malnourished children in therapeutic feeding centres, vaccinated 1.2 million children against measles and provided 2.2 million people with access to safe water.

However, the region is currently experiencing the worst drought in decades and much more needs to be done in order to help the many thousands of children who are in need of urgent nutritional and medical help.

David Morley, UNICEF Canada’s President and CEO recently visited the northern Kenyan Dadaab refugee camps where 1,000 Somali refugees continue to arrive every day.

“We are thankful for the generous contributions from Canadians that have enabled us to scale up our programs in the region but this crisis of child survival is far from over” he says. “It will continue well into 2012, demanding even greater efforts. “

Please Support UNICEF’s relief efforts in the Horn of Africa.  For more information about the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit, please refer to www.eastafricacrisis.org.

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To secure media accreditation to attend the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to UNICEF’s Supply Centre in Copenhagen or to secure images, b-roll or interview UNICEF staff please contact Melanie Sharpe. Contact details are below.

About UNICEF
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause. UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

Notes to editors:
 

  • It has been more than three months since famine was declared in parts of Somalia, following the worst drought in decades, soaring food prices and escalating conflict in Somalia which has devastated livelihoods across Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Without rain for two successive seasons, crops failed and livestock perished. Since the beginning of the year, more than 300,000 people have fled their villages in search of food, water and medicine, making treacherous journeys to refugee camps in Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti. More than 13 million people require humanitarian assistance and half of those are children.
  • UNICEF is the main provider of high protein peanut paste to treat severely malnourished children across the region, working with partner agencies to ensure that it reaches the children most in need
  • $10 buys one week of high protein emergency therapeutic food for the most acutely malnourished children
  • $100 buys an emergency relief pack, which includes medical supplies, vaccines, clean drinking water and food.
For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.