Medical supplies reach Kenya, with help from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
By Priyanka Pruthi
NEW YORK, United States, 4 November 2011 - More than 40,000 kilogrammes of medical supplies, which the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark helped to pack at the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen on Wednesday, have reached their destination in Nairobi, Kenya.
The Royal couples toured UNICEF’s Global Supply Centre with the aim of drawing the world’s attention back on the continuing crisis in the Horn of Africa. Appealing for support, the Duchess of Cambridge underlined that a lot more still needs to be done. “We really hope...to really put the spotlight back on this terrible crisis and to try and raise the awareness,” she said. “I was shocked by some of the statistics and I think other people would be if they've lost track of this story.”
It’s been over 100 days since famine was declared in parts of Somalia yet the situation is still desperate. Even today, more than 320,000 children under five are severely malnourished and at imminent risk of death.
“The rains have come now and as you've all heard from the UNICEF brief, that doesn't necessarily mean that things are going to get better at all. In fact, disease becomes a huge issue,” said Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. “So it's very much a case of anyone who can do anything to help...please do.”
Making an impact
So far, UNICEF has delivered more than 9,740 metric tonnes of supplies to the region, treated 108,000 with severe acute malnutrition, vaccinated 1.2 million children against measles and provided 2.2 million people with access to safe water. But the numbers of those in need remains overwhelming.
“One of the greatest challenges for those of us who are trying to raise money and support for the children of East Africa, is getting people engaged and then keeping them engaged for the long haul,” said Caryl Stern, Executive Director, US Fund for UNICEF.
“This is not a short term quick emergency - this is an on-going crisis and a grave one.” Ms. Stern was amongst the UNICEF delegation on the plane that delivered the aid to Nairobi.
An important milestone
Since the visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark to UNICEF’s Supply Centre was announced on 26 October, UNICEF has seen a huge response to the appeal for donations to the emergency in the Horn of Africa.
“This is a very important milestone in a very long chain of solidarity,” said Elhadj As Sy, UNICEF Regional Director. “We are very pleased to tell our partners and donors that their donations have arrived, and started to make a difference in the lives of many children we save.”