Kenya + 1 more

New UNICEF chief heads to Kenya, Uganda

Trip Will Spotlight Efforts on Millennium Development Goals, Child Survival

GENEVA, 19 July 2005 - UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman travels to Africa this week to spotlight development efforts in Kenya and the plight of Ugandan children caught up in that county's northern conflict.

On Thursday, Veneman will join the Director of the UN's Millennium Project, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, on a visit to the north Kenyan village of Sauri to take part in a harvest festival and to see firsthand how integrated approaches to development being piloted by the Millennium Project are improving the lives of children.

On Friday she will travel to Uganda to witness the extraordinary plight of children affected by conflict in the north, especially the so-called "night commuters" - children who must leave their villages and head to larger towns each evening to seek protection from rebel abductions.

Returning to Kenya on the weekend, Veneman will visit UNICEF-supported child survival programs in the Wajir district.

In both countries Veneman will meet with heads of state and other senior government officials, as well as religious and community leaders, business leaders, and the heads of UN agencies.

This will be the second trip to Africa by the UNICEF chief in her first 90 days in office. The journey follows a stop in Paris, where Veneman took part in the board meeting of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization.

"Progress for African children is essential if the world is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals," Veneman said from Paris. "There is much more to be done."

For further information, please contact:

Alfred Ironside, UNICEF Media NY (traveling with Ms. Veneman): +1 646 247 2975

Sara Cameron, UNICEF Kenya: +254-20-622977, +0722-585262,

Chulho Hyun, UNICEF Uganda: +256-41-259913/4 +256-77-222347 (Mob.),