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Press centre

Media advisory

UNICEF Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman to visit Democratic Republic of Congo

Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director will visit the Democratic
Republic of Congo. Veneman last visited the DRC in February 2006.   

Tuesday August 25-Wednesday August 26 – Kinshasa
Thursday August 27-Saturday August 29 – eastern DRC

The Democratic Republic of Congo, a country ravaged by poverty and conflict, has often been referred to as Africa’s worst humanitarian crisis.  Sexual violence, pillaging, burning of homes and killing defines the daily lives for many in eastern DRC.

Veneman will spend 3 days in eastern DRC meeting with children and families impacted by the conflict, including victims of rape and sexual violence.  The UNICEF Executive Director will visit Dungu in north-eastern DRC where Uganda’s rebel group, the Lord’s Resistance Army has been operating and where hundreds of Congolese children have been abducted.  

Veneman will also visit a camp for Internally Displaced People, where she will hear first-hand accounts from families who fled their homes due to the recent fighting in South Kivu.  Veneman will review the impact of the continuing conflicts on women and children, including their access to life-saving services, protection and education.

Prior to visiting eastern DRC, Veneman will participate in the inauguration of a new occupational health center with Congolese basketball star, Dikembe Mutombo, at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa.

Veneman will also meet with representatives of the Government of the DRC, UN and non-governmental organizations to discuss strengthening the national and regional response for the protection of children and their families. 

B-roll will be made available via Reuters and  www.thenewsmarket.com/UNICEF

For further information and for telephone interviews on the ground please contact:
Joyce Brandful, UNICEF Kinshasa,
Tel + 243 81 884 6746 
E-mail: jbrandful@unicef.org

Pierrette Vu Thi, UNICEF Kinshasa,
Tel + 243 81 333 0202

Dheepa Pandian, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 917 402 6590
E-mail: dpandian@unicef.org

For media availability from London on Monday August 31 and in New York from Wednesday September 2 please contact:
Gina Dafalia, UNICEF London,
Tel + 44 781454 9071
E-mail: ginad@unicef.org.uk

Jeremy Sprigge, UNICEF London,
Tel + 44 207 375 6120 / + 44 207 336 8922
E-mail: jeremys@unicef.org.uk

Kate Donovan, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7452
E-mail: kdonovan@unicef.org




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