Time is running out as children face multiple threats
Executive Director of UNICEF will visit Chad, one of the countries of the Sahel Belt, where several looming disasters are bearing in on children: severe and acute malnutrition, a fragile and weakened health system, and the largest polio outbreak in Africa.
Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF
3-5 April 2012 in Chad
Tuesday, 10 April Press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.
N’Djamena & Guera Region in Chad
The Executive Director will be visiting the region of Mao and Guera in the Sahel, where he will meet with vulnerable communities, including nomads, a group that is particularly touched by both the nutrition scare and polio outbreaks.
B-roll of Lake’s visit and photos will be available at www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef
Background: The visit of Anthony Lake, Executive Director of the United Nations children’s agency comes as the onset of the dry, ‘lean’ season is pushing even more Chadian children into feeding centres to receive lifesaving treatment. UNICEF calculates that at least 127,000 children under the age of five are at high risk of dying over the course of the year if they don’t receive timely and appropriate care. This working figure is based on ‘a best case scenario’ and is still double the number of children treated last year.
In addition, the country is also dealing with a large scale polio outbreak. There were more than 130 cases in 2011, the highest in Africa.
UNICEF and its partners are responding to a nutrition crisis that is affecting also Burkina Faso, northern Cameroon, Niger, northern Nigeria, Mali, Mauritania and Senegal. Fifteen million people in the region are affected and will need assistance in 2012 due to the crisis. Of these, the most vulnerable are young children. UNICEF is appealing for $120 million dollars to respond to the needs of an estimated one million children with severe acute malnutrition during the course of 2012.
Hector Calderon, UNICEF Chad,
Mobile + 235 66 36 00 42
Sarah Crowe, UNICEF New York,
Tel +1 646 209 1590,
Shantha Bloemen, UNICEF South Africa,
Tel + 27 79 49 55 938,
Martin Dawes, UNICEF Regional Office for West and Central Africa,
Mobile + 221 77 569 1925,
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Geneva,
Tel + 41 22 909 7516,
Peter Smerdon, UNICEF Media,
Tel: + 1212 303 7984