Media Centre

Press releases

Feature stories

Photo essays

Reporting guidelines

Media contact


New York, 8 July 2011: Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on the independence of the Republic of South Sudan

NEW YORK, 8 July 2011 – “Tomorrow is a historic day for the children and people of South Sudan. After years of conflict, a new country is emerging, with new hope for a more peaceful and prosperous future for all its citizens.

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.

UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake

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.”

For more information, please contact:

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York, + 1 212 326 7426,
Marixie Mercado, UNICEF Media, Geneva, + 41 22 909 5716,



 Email this article

unite for children