The internationally acclaimed actress and humanitarian activist Mia Farrow arrived in Cameroon on Sunday with a message of hope for some of the most disadvantaged children in the country.

A priority for the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador during her week long visit will be to travel to communities in the East, where there are over 60,000 Central African refugees, and the Langui Camp where there are more than 3,000 refugees who fled from Chad last year.

UNICEF has asked me to add my voice to the call for urgent action in Cameroon to tackle the problem of child malnutrition which UNICEF sees as a silent emergency,” said Mia Farrow. “Most of the world probably knows little about this humanitarian crisis which threatens the lives of children under five years of age. When I get there I hope to be able to tell them they will be heard, and do my best to make sure that more will be done for them.”

Many of the refugees in Cameroon are being hosted by local communities, who themselves are desperately poor and vulnerable. A key consequence is high rates of child malnutrition according to the UNICEF Representative, Ora Musu Clemens-Hope.

“The refugees have been generously supported by communities in one of the poorest parts of Cameroon. The Government and agencies such as UNICEF, UNHCR, and the World Food Programme have been working hard to alleviate conditions and provide for basic needs, but we are seeing alarming rates of malnutrition and more funding is urgently needed."

There are around 280,000 refugees in Cameroon from both the Central African Republic and Chad. Amongst the displaced and host communities, UNICEF is working to combat disease and cut child mortality, while working to provide clean water, decent sanitation and education.

Upon her arrival in Cameroon, Ms. Farrow will hear from government ministers as well as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and First Lady.

Ms. Farrow was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador in September 2000. As a powerful advocate for children, she campaigns tirelessly for their rights around the world, with a special focus on children impacted by armed conflict. Ms. Farrow has worked extensively to raise funds and awareness for children whose lives have been affected by violence in countries such as Angola, Chad, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, Nigeria and Sudan.

Source: UNICEF

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