As I write this, my gratitude for all of you whoâ€™ve made an effort to contribute to the Horn of Africa crisis is overwhelming me. I promise to write a more detailed account, but at this moment, after having just fed a malnourished 1-year-old baby, itâ€™s hard to get beyond gratitude.
Today I was able to visit Lodwar in Turkana, Kenyaâ€™s most northwestern district, bordering Uganda, South Sudan and Ethiopia. Though it has been hard hit by the drought and food shortage, it has not been as visible as some of the other impacted communities.
Your donations to UNICEF buy lifesaving supplies like the medical equipment the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge helped to pack at our supply center in Copenhagen on Wednesday. Your donations also ensure a presence forÂ UNICEF on-the-ground in places like Lodwar, so that we can make sure other essential services are there for children.
Like what? Like programs to help prevent children from becoming malnourished even when they are in the midst of the worst drought in 60 years. How? By monitoring childrenâ€™s weight and providing therapeutic feeding supplements to make sure their bodies and minds develop properly during their critical formative years. By making sure pregnant and lactating women are adequately cared for, so they can sustain and nourish their children.
With simple, proactive actions in communities at risk, we are safeguarding children who might otherwise succumb to the crisis around them. Not only do we treat children with life-threatening malnutrition, we also try to prevent them from getting to that point. When battling something as insidious as famine, a one-prong approach is simply not enough. We need to give it everything weâ€™ve got and we canâ€™t do that without you.
So I end where I began, with gratitude for all of you who stay informed, donate, spread the word and offer prayers, thoughts and love to the children affected. When each of us gives a little bit of ourselves, we become part of something very powerful. Collectively, we are making it possible for children to survive the unimaginable. â€śThank youâ€ť is not enough. The lives saved are the reward we all share.