Aid for Africa Member Global Action for Children Speaks Out on the Day of the African Child

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Washington D.C. – June 16, 2009 – Global Action for Children Executive Director Jennifer Delany:

“US decision makers are searching for ways to reform the tangled US foreign aid program for the first time since President Kennedy so we can meet our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals.

“As Washington maps the future of foreign aid, orphans and vulnerable children need an advocate who will ensure their needs for food, education, protection and healthcare aren’t lost in the reshuffle. That’s why Global Action for Children is pushing for the US to appoint a Children’s Ambassador to oversee all the programs and funding these children depend on to survive.”

On June 16, 1976, thousands of black school children in Soweto, South Africa led a street protest against the inferior quality of their education. During the two weeks of protest, hundreds of children were shot, more than 100 people were killed, and more than 1,000 were injured. The Day of the African Child is the annual observance of this tragedy.

Background on the Issues Affecting African Children:

  • 15 million children have already lost their parents to HIV/AIDS – 80 percent of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Malaria kills one child in Africa every 30 seconds.
  • 25,000 children under five die every day from mostly preventable diseases and malnutrition – 51 percent of these deaths occur in Africa.
  • 75 million children are out of school worldwide – 38 million of them live in sub-Saharan Africa.

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