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UNICEF Sudan calls for religious leaders to support A World Day of Prayer and Action for Children

KHARTOUM/JUBA, SUDAN, 18 November 2009 – UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan Nils Kastberg is appealing for religious leaders to pray for the country’s children to mark the 20th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child this Friday (November 20th).

“It is important for organisations like UNICEF to work more closely with religious groups,” said Nils Kastberg, UNICEF’s Representative in Sudan.

“Faith-based organisations are often able to reach deprived and marginalised children when others can’t. They can also help create awareness amongst their congregations about children’s rights and needs,” he added.

The World Day of Prayer and Action for Children is part of a worldwide initiative launched by the Global Network of Religions for Children in collaboration with UNICEF.

The objective of the day is to encourage all religions and faith-based groups to join in A Day of Prayer and Action for Children in every house of worship in all communities.

It is hoped the day will become an annual event which will protect the rights and promote the well-being of children, both through prayers and practical actions, to help achieve internationally agreed development goals for children.

 In a document distributed to religious leaders across Sudan, UNICEF has appealed to them to pray for peace.

“Children are the best asset that any country has. They are the future, but for them to have a future, we must safeguard their present now,” it said.

“The most important thing for Sudan is lasting peace. It is the only way to ensure a bright future for the country’s children in the north, south, east and west".

“Without peace children will not complete their education, without peace there will not be enough safe drinking water or good sanitation, without peace there won’t be enough decent health facilities or doctors and nurses,” it added.

UNICEF video and high-resolution photography for media organizations is available at: http://www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef

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, safe 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:
Amber Henshaw UNICEF Sudan tel:  +249 (0) 912177291 e-mail: ahenshaw@unicef.org

Douglas Armour UNICEF Sudan tel: +249 (0) 913143481 e-mail: darmour@unicef.org




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