Queen Mathilde of Belgium has arrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for a four-day visit with representatives from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). She began her visit on Monday, 9 November. Queen Mathilde has been the Honorary President of Unicef Belgium since 2009, but she has been active for UNICEF for over 10 years, even before she became Queen.
During her stay in Ethiopia, she will tour projects in the regions of Oromia and Harari as well as the cities of Addis Ababa and Dire Dwa. The visit will also focus on the sustainable development goals established last September by the United Nations, which will fund a water supply and sanitation program for victims of drought in the Afar region.
Ethiopia is a country of extreme poverty and it suffers greatly from recurring droughts. About 560 Ethiopian children die every day, mainly from causes that could have been prevented. One in two cases is linked to malnutrition, which is closely linked to drought in Ethiopia. UNICEF is helping to repair existing water sources as well as distributes water containers and water purification tablets. Furthermore, UNICEF is working towards setting up livestock to help the production of dairy and meat.
Queen Mathilde has also visited the United States, Niger, Denmark, Tanzania, Senegal, Liberia, and Haiti on behalf of UNICEF.
Photo Credit: Queen Mathilde of Belgium by UN Women via Flickr.com