The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arrived in Copenhagen today, and joined forces with the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Denmark, to highlight the famine crisis in East Africa.
The royals went to Unicef’s global crisis center in the Danish Capital, to pack medical kits for children in the region. There they were enthusiastically greeted, by a mob of photographers, reporters, and by some children of Unicef employees holding flowers.
Before work began, Unicef officials gave the couples a briefing on the crisis, including information about nutrition and food, reports the Daily Mirror:
“The duke took a fingerful of the paste [a spacial peanut past full of vitamins and nutrients fed to children suffering from malnutrition] before passing it on to the duchess, who declined to taste it and passed it over to Denmark’s Crown Prince Frederik and Crown Princess Mary, who accompanied them on the visit.The crown prince and crown princess also tasted the multivitamin paste, but a tray of muffins made with a corn soya blend went untouched by the party of four.”
Everyone then got to work packing boxes, and the royals chatted with Unicef employees.
The Duchess was interviewed while at the Unicef facility, and she used the opportunity to urge people to donate money:“It’s really just how shocking the situation still is,” Kate said of the region, which has been experiencing its worst drought in 50 years. “It has been 100 days and it’s still going on. A huge amount still needs to be done. At the moment hundreds of children are still malnourished. We need to try and raise the awareness. I was shocked by some of the statistics and I think people will probably be if they lose track of the story. I think it initially was a very big story and a lot of people did hear about it but because of what (else) has been going on people have perhaps lost track of the situation and this will put the light back on the crisis.”
The Duke called the situation “horrendous” and said:“It’s very much a case of anyone who can do anything to help, please do.” He added “As tragic and distressing as what is going on in the rest of the world is, I think what’s going on in East Africa really puts things into perspective of how terrible a crisis can actually get.”
Before Will and Kate headed home, they watched supplies being loaded onto a Nairobi-bound aircraft, loaned to Unicef by British Airways.
William and Kate have made a five figure donation to the cause, reports the Telegraph.
Of the royals visit, a St. James’s Palace spokesman said:
” This visit has come about through a mutual meeting of minds between the two royal couples. The crown prince and crown princess have already shown a very keen interest in the terrible tragedy that’s unfolding in east Africa and the crown princess has been to Kenya. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have personal links in Kenya – they have friends there, they got engaged there, they’ve visited many times and they’ve followed the tragedy unfolding not only on the news but also from people they know on the ground. The two couples felt they wanted to do something more to bring the profile of the tragedies back into the public domain.”
David Bull, executive director of Unicef UK, told media that the situation in East Africa is “desperate”: I met families who had walked for 20 or 30 days to get hundreds of miles from their homes to refugee camps,” he said. “Some children are making the same journey unaccompanied, usually because their families have died along the way. It’s absolutely tragic. The visit of the Duke and Duchess is absolutely vital and we are enormously grateful for their concern.”
The Crown Princess of Denmark has just returned from a trip to the famine zone and was able to provide the Duke and Duchess a first hand account of the situation in Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia and Djibouti.