Hundreds of Thousands of Children at Risk in Growing Crisis of Survival
NEW YORK, 11 June 2004 – UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy heads to the troubled Darfur region of Sudan this weekend to see first-hand the life-threatening situation facing hundreds of thousands of children caught in one of the world’s most rapidly developing humanitarian crises.
UNICEF is deeply concerned about the growing vulnerability of the vast displaced population in Darfur, now estimated at some 1 million people, half of them children. This Sudanese population displaced by civil conflict now faces food shortages, outbreaks of disease, exploitation, and the looming rainy season.
UNICEF and other agencies are rapidly accelerating relief efforts that have been underway for more than six months. UNICEF is focusing on providing access to safe drinking water, primary health care, shelter material, education and hygiene kits for families. A Ministry of Health measles immunization campaign supported by UNICEF and WHO, began this week, targeted at 2.2 million children between the age of 9 months and 15 years.
Bellamy will be in Darfur on Sunday and Monday. She will be in Khartoum on Tuesday. She will be available for live interviews while in the region.
For further information, stills photos, and fresh video please contact:
Paula Claycomb, UNICEF Media, Khartoum: 249-12-309410
James Elder, UNICEF Newsdesk, Darfur: 249-12-167158
Gordon Weiss, UNICEF Media, New York: 212 326 7426
Anis Salem, UNICEF Amman: 962-6 553 9977 x407
Damien Personnaz, UNICEF Geneva: Mobile: +41 79 216 94 01