On Wednesday 2 November 2011, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge will be making a special visit to the UNICEF Emergency Supply Center in Copenhagen, to help put the global spotlight back onto the humanitarian crisis in East Africa.
Right now, children across East Africa are facing a desperate crisis caused by drought, high food prices and ongoing conflict in Somalia. Over 320,000 children are so severely malnourished that they are at imminent risk of starving to death without urgent help.
UNICEF’s Supply Center has a warehouse the size of three football pitches. 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 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 UK 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 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.
“UNICEF is working tirelessly to ensure that children’s lives can be saved across East Africa,” said Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF’s Global Emergency Coordinator for the East Africa crisis. "Every day children are being given food and water thanks to the huge generosity of the public all around the world.
He added: “But there is so much more to be done. As we speak more than 320,000 children are in grave danger and need life-saving emergency supplies, like those being shipped and airlifted from our warehouse today.”
UNICEF UK Executive Director David Bull said: “UNICEF UK sincerely thanks the UK public and our government for the compassionate response they have shown towards the children of East Africa. Your donations are saving children’s lives. However, millions more children continue to need life saving assistance and UNICEF intends to be there for every child. To do that, we need everyone’s help so please donate at eastafricacrisis.org.”