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UNICEF Ambassador Clay Aiken Visits North-West Somalia
Date:7/3/2008

project."

At a camp for 1500 internally displaced families in Hargeisa, Aiken met 11-year-old Abduraman, who helps to support his five siblings and blind mother by working each morning to collect stones. He uses his earnings to pay for school, which he attends in the afternoon.

"Somalia has some of the lowest enrollment rates in the world, but every child has the right to an education," Aiken stressed. "UNICEF is working to help ensure that even working children get to go to school. UNICEF has also provided the camp with child protection monitors, teacher-training and school materials."

In Boroma, Aiken also visited maternal and child health clinics to observe nutritional feeding and immunization activities along with projects supporting children with disabilities, the eradication of female genital mutilation and the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

"Now that I have seen Somalia for myself, I feel it is important for the American public to remember that the Somali people have the same dreams for their children that we do," said Aiken, who in recent years has also visited conflict areas in Afghanistan and Uganda for UNICEF.

"The country is one of the most desperate in the world. Fortunately, UNICEF has always been there and continues to provide the support needed to make a difference. No other organization is more capable of making such a difference than UNICEF," Aiken added.

The lack of a permanent central government has contributed to Somalia's status as one of the poorest and most volatile countries in the world. One of the most serious droughts since the 1970s has affected large parts of the country, exacerbating hardships for rural populations.

About UNICEF

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world's leading international children's organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean
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SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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