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Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit UNICEF's lifesaving Emergency Supply Center to highlight desperate plight of children in East Africa

NEW YORK (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 Center 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 Center has a warehouse within it the size of three football fields.  It sources, packs and distributes essential supplies for children around the globe, including 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 encourage the public to support UNICEF's appeal for funds to help millions of children at risk. 

The American public has been hugely generous in their response to news of the devastating crisis unfolding in East Africa, and lifesaving supplies are getting through to children and families affected. So far, UNICEF has delivered more than 10,000 metric tons of supplies to the region, treated 108,000 severely malnourished children in therapeutic feeding centers, 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.  

Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF's,Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, who is also UNICEF's Global Emergency Coordinator for the crisis, said, "Right now UNICEF, along with many other partners, is working tirelessly to ensure that children's lives can be saved across East Africa. Every day children are being given food and water thanks to the huge generosity of the public all around the world. But, there is so much more to be done. As we speak more than 320,000 children are in grave danger and need lifesaving emergency supplies, like those being shipped and airlifted from our warehouse today. We desperately need every single person to help us continue our work, so please donate today at www.eastafricacrisis.org."

"For months since the drought became a catastrophe for millions of children across East Africa, we have been asking ourselves, 'how loudly do we have to yell, and from what mountaintop,' for people to see and feel the urgency of this crisis," said U.S. Fund for UNICEF President and CEO Caryl M. Stern. "We are tremendously grateful for the attention the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are bringing to children in dire need across the region, and for broadcasting the critical message that it is not too late to save their lives." 

For other ways to make a tax-deductible contribution to relief efforts in the Horn of Africa, contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:

Toll free: 1-800-4UNICEF (1-800-486-4233)

Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038

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 Dijbouti, 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 whole region, working with partner agencies to ensure that it reaches the children most in need.
  • $16 buys two weeks of high protein emergency therapeutic food for the most acutely malnourished children.
  • $333 buys an emergency medical kit, and supplies medical care for at least 1,000 people for three months.

About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. Working in more than 150 countries, UNICEF provides children with health care, clean water, nutrition, education, emergency relief, and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy, and education in the United States.

UNICEF is at the forefront of efforts to reduce child mortality worldwide. There has been substantial progress: the annual number of under-five deaths dropped from nearly 13 million in 1990 to 7.6 million in 2010. But still, 21,000 children die each day from preventable causes. Our mission is to do whatever it takes to make that number zero by giving children the essentials for a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

For additional information, please contact:

Kiní Schoop, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.922.2634, kschoop@unicefusa.org 

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, smasur@unicefusa.org