New York, 8 July 2011: Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on the independence of the Republic of South Sudan
Four million children – 50 per cent of the total population – will be part of this new nation. We must all do our part to help this “independence generation” survive and thrive. For even in the absence of conflict, the children of South Sudan face significant challenges. One child in nine still dies before reaching the age of five. Hundreds of thousands are deprived of their right to an education, to adequate health care and other critical services. Many are still displaced and at risk.
It is upon these most disadvantaged and vulnerable children that we must focus resources and renewed attention. UNICEF is committed to supporting the government of the Republic of South Sudan as it works to protect the rights and improve the lives of all its children. Tomorrow, children who have known only war now have a chance to know peace. We must not fail them.”
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