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Media advisory

UNICEF Warns that Malnourished Children Still Face Death across the Horn of Africa

WHO: Rima Salah, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director; Keith McKenzie, UNICEF Special Advisor for the Horn of Africa Crisis

WHAT:  Press conference to issue Child Alert: Horn of Africa, documenting the current situation of children affected by the drought across Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti.  The Child Alert report is the third in a briefing series that presents core challenges for children in a given crisis location at a given time.  The materials include a report, photo essay, videos will be available.

WHEN:  10:30 Geneva time, Monday, 15 May 2006

WHERE:  UNICEF, Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland

WHY:  Rain is falling in East Africa, but too late to halt much of the devastation of six months of severe drought. Millions of pastoralists have seen their livelihoods wrecked. Tens of thousands of children are so weakened as to be at serious risk of dying.

Approximately half of the region’s 16 million pastoralists have been seriously affected and are in need of urgent assistance, including 1.6 million children under five.

Yet droughts are predictable, and the pastoralist life a sustainable one, given consistent support from central governments. The international community must also share responsibility, and change their approach to humanitarian assistance in the Horn.

Due to the rapidly deteriorating situation, UNICEF requires urgent funds to carry out life-saving programmes for drought-affected children.  These will include feeding programmes, measles and vitamin A campaigns, water and sanitation programmes, child protection, and education.

Attention broadcasters:  Video footage will be available free of charge from The Newsmarket at http://www.thenewsmarket.com.

For more information please contact:

Gordon Weiss, UNICEF Media, +1-212-326-7426, gweiss@unicef.org

Pat Lone, UNICEF East and Southern Africa, +254-20-622-214, plone@unicef.org

Damien Personnaz, UNICEF Geneva, +41-22-909-5716, dpersonnaz@unicef.org










UNICEF correspondent Dan Thomas reports on the crisis facing children in the Horn of Africa. Edited by Rachel Warden.

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UNICEF correspondent Dan Thomas reports from Ethiopia’s Somali region on UNICEF’s work to help save thousands of malnourished children and their parents. Produced by Blue Chevigny.

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