British Royals Highlight Plight of Children in Horn of Africa

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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have visited the global supply centre in
Copenhagen for the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), where they
highlighted the plight of hundreds of thousands of children who may starve to
death in the Horn of Africa without urgent help.

It is at the supply centre that the agency sources, packs and distributes
essential supplies for children around the globe, including food, water, special
nutritional supplies for the most malnourished children, including vaccines and
emergency medical kits.

During their visit, the British royals – accompanied by the Crown Prince and
Crown Princess of Denmark – aim to raise the profile of the crisis in the Horn
of Africa and encourage the public to support UNICEF’s appeal for funds to help
millions of children at risk.

A total of 13.3 million people needed assistance in Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and
Djibouti as a result of what aid agencies say is the worst drought in the region
in six decades. Thousands of children have already died, and more than 320,000 –
half of them in central and southern Somalia – are suffering from
life-threatening malnutrition, < "http://www.unicef.org/media/media_60370.html">according
to UNICEF.

So far, UNICEF has delivered more than 10,000 tons 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.

“Right now UNICEF, along with many other partners, is working tirelessly to
ensure that children’s lives can be saved across East Africa,” said Elhadj As
Sy, UNICEF’s Regional Director for Eastern and Southern 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,” said
Mr. As Sy, who is also Global Emergency Coordinator for the crisis.

UNICEF still needs $40 million to respond to the needs of children in the region
for this year. The needs for next year are $402.8 million, including $300
million for UNICEF Somalia, to ensure that provision of life-saving therapeutic
and supplementary feeding can continue.

During their visit, the royals will be briefed on the latest situation in the
region, see how the supplies are sourced and packed, meet staff and help to pack
the emergency medical kits which are currently being sent to the Horn of Africa,
as well as go to Copenhagen airport to see the supplies being loaded on to a
British Airways flight, bound for Nairobi.

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