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Eritrea, 30 April 2012: UNICEF Deputy Executive Director visits Eritrea

© UNICEF Eritrea/2012/Thompson
UNICEF’sDeputy Executive Director, Yoka Brandt (left) speaks to one of the mothers(right) at the Community Based Therapeutic Feeding centre at the SerejekaHealth Facility as health workers and other visitors look on.

ASMARA, Eritrea, 30 April 2012 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director, Yoka Brandt visited Eritrea to discuss the situation of children in the country with senior government officials and to get first-hand impressions of UNICEF-supported programmes.

Ms. Brandt, who was accompanied by the UNICEF Regional Director for Eastern and Southern Africa, Elhadj As Sy and UNICEF Eritrea Representative, Hamid El-Bashir, met with the President of the State of Eritrea, Mr. Isaias Aferwerki and other key government ministers. Ms. Brandt also visited a UNICEF-supported health facility in the community of Serejeka, outside of Asmara, which serves more than 6,500 members of the community. The Ministry of Health in partnership with UNICEF provides among other services, Community Based Therapeutic Feeding (CBTF) to children aged 6-59 months.

“It is truly amazing to see how rapidly malnourished children recover in a short period of only two weeks, how they gain weight and how their overall health status improves,” Ms. Brandt said.

Ms. Brandt also met with members of the diplomatic corps, based in Asmara as well as the UN country team (UNCT) to brief them on her meetings with the government and discuss the UN’s work in Eritrea.

Eritrea is one of three sub Saharan African countries on track to achieve MDG 4 (child health) and also to meet the MDG in water supply (MDG 7). UNICEF has been operating in Eritrea since the country gained independence in 1991.

Ms. Brandt is very familiar with the situation in the country having worked there for four years with the Dutch Government, prior to joining UNICEF.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information about UNICEF and its work visit:

For further information, please contact:
Charlene Thompson, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Eritrea



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