TV screens across the UK will today (Wednesday) see UNICEF Ambassador Ewan McGregor issue an emotional appeal calling on the British public to help the millions of children affected by the unprecedented drought in East Africa.

In the appeal, McGregor will say:

‘East Africa is in crisis. War, failing harvests and the worst drought in 50 years means over two million children are at risk. Risk of disease. Risk of death. In just one refugee camp in Kenya, there are nearly half a million people in urgent need of food, water and basic healthcare. The situation throughout the region is becoming more and more critical; the threat of starvation is very real.’

The film will broadcast from this evening (Wednesday) across ITV, Channel 4 (including More 4 and 4Music), Channel 5 and Sky News.

During the recording of the appeal, McGregor said:

“I’m always overwhelmed by the generosity of the UK public in responding to crises like this one in East Africa. The lives of more than half a million children are in immediate danger, and UNICEF is working hard to provide therapeutic food, clean water, sanitation and immunisation to keep vulnerable children alive and prevent the spread of diseases. I’ve seen UNICEF’s life-saving work in action, and I urge people to give what they can to help with this critical work.”

“Please, text FOOD to 70007 to give £5 to UNICEF’s Children in East Africa appeal. Five pounds does not go far here in the UK, but for a child in East Africa it could be the difference between life and death.”


UNICEF urgently needs almost £20million ($31.8 million) to provide life saving supplies to weak and starving children across East Africa in the next three months alone. Over 2 million children under five in Somalia and parts of Kenya and Ethiopia are acutely malnourished, including almost 500,000 children at risk of starvation.


For more information please contact:
Stephen Pattison, UNICEF UK Media Team
+44 (0)207 375 6030


UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: