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As impact of drought in Horn of Africa worsens, UNICEF scales up humanitarian response

UNICEF Executive Director in Kenya

NEW YORK (July 14, 2011) — UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake arrives in Nairobi today to strengthen the concerted response by UN agencies and partners to the humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa, which is threatening to engulf millions of people, many of whom are children. The crisis in the region is being fueled by drought, soaring food prices and conflict in Somalia. An estimated 10 million people are in need of humanitarian aid. More than two million children are acutely malnourished, including nearly 500,000 children in Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya who are suffering from imminent, life-threatening severe malnutrition.

In addition to the thousands of people from Somalia seeking refuge in Ethiopia and Kenya, millions more are living on the brink of extreme poverty and hunger, suffering the consequences of failed rains and the impact of climate change.

During his visit, Mr. Lake will have meetings with other United Nations agencies and partners.  On Saturday, he will travel to Turkana, a district in the northwest of Kenya with a population of 850,000, most of whom are pastoralists. The drought and the rise in food prices have deepened the chronic poverty in the district to a point of extreme crisis, and malnutrition rates have reached emergency levels. He will meet with local authorities, health workers and community members. This area, along with other parts of northern Kenya, are in urgent need of additional support.

UNICEF has appealed for $31.8 million for the Horn of Africa over the next three months to rapidly ramp-up the response aimed especially at children, who are suffering the brunt of the crisis. UNICEF says the most urgent needs include therapeutic feeding, vitamin supplementation, water and sanitation services, child protection measures and immunization.

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

Website: www.unicefusa.org/donate/horn

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

Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, New York, NY 10038


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 13 million in 1990 to 8.8 million in 2008. But still, 22,000 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:

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212.880.9146, (m) 646.428.5010, smasur@unicefusa.org

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

Video from Horn of Africa 



Horn of Africa Emergency RC

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