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UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson in Ethiopia on drought emergency visit

ADDIS ABABA, 19 June 2008 – UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Hilde Johnson has arrived in Addis Ababa for a four day visit to Ethiopia where she will review the emergency situation in drought affected areas.

Ms Johnson will be visiting nutrition hot spot areas in the south of Ethiopia.  She will also be meeting with Government, UN partners, donors and NGOs involved in the humanitarian response to the drought emergency.

The Government of Ethiopia estimates that at present, 75,000 children under the age of five in drought-affected areas face severe acute malnutrition and require immediate therapeutic care to survive.

4.6 million people in drought-affected areas are in immediate need of humanitarian aid.

Children are the most vulnerable to nutritional shocks and the first to succumb when there is not enough food at home.

Note: Ms Johnson will meet with media at the end of her stay at a media conference on Sunday 22 June, 15:00 at UNICEF House, located across from the UNECA Compound.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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 further information please contact:
Dr. Kerida Mcdonald, Chief, Communication Cluster, UNICEF Ethiopia, Tel: + 251 115 184018, email: kmcdonald@unicef.org
Indrias Getachew, Communication Officer, UNICEF Ethiopia, Tel: +251 115 184026 email: igetachew@unicef.org




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