As I write this, I am on a flight from Copenhagen to Nairobi with precious cargo – lifesaving medical supplies for children in the Horn of Africa. Earlier today amidst a crush of reporters, Their Royal Highnesses, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, toured UNICEF’s global supply center and spent time packing up some of the boxes. The Duke and Duchess were accompanied by the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, who also rolled up their sleeves to help.
Many of you reading this know that UNICEF has an unrivaled supply and distribution network, designed to speed essential supplies to children around the world. The Copenhagen center includes a warehouse the size of three football fields, where supplies are sourced and packed. Everything from essential medicines, water purification tablets, supplementary food and vaccines are stocked to deploy where and when needed most.
Tonight, on my flight, we carry emergency health kits, each of which will provide lifesaving supplies to over 1000 people. We will unload in Nairobi and eventually, the supplies will be delivered to UNICEF supported programs in Somalia, which has been devastated by famine.
As the Duke of Cambridge said, “An incredible amount is being done. UNICEF is leading the way and doing a fantastic job, but sadly there’s lots more still to do, and that’s why we’re here today.”
The Duchess of Cambridge talked more about the purpose of their visit, saying “We really hope to put the spotlight back on this crisis.” The Duke of Cambridge then added a heartfelt appeal: “Anyone who can do anything to help, please do.”
Tomorrow, I will meet some of the people on the frontlines of the emergency and I will deliver an important message to the children they serve:
“You are not alone. You are as important, worthy and precious as any and every other child on the planet. We see you, we hear you and we will not rest until we have helped you get to safe ground.”
Clearly, our VIP visitors are of the same mind when it comes to the “VVIP” children UNICEF serves, and for that, we are extremely grateful.