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William and Kate visit east Africa aid centre

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are making a tour of a global aid centre for the east Africa food crisis their first humanitarian mission together.

The royal couple will visit an emergency supply centre run by the United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef.

About 13 million people in east Africa are at risk of starvation because of food shortages, and famine has been declared in Somalia. And the couple hope to keep the world’s attention firmly focused on the crisis, which is worsening with more areas expected to be classed as in famine over the next few months.

William and Kate will see the Copenhagen-based aid centre’s relief effort to hand out emergency food and medical supplies to help children in crisis across east Africa.

Denmark’s Crown Prince and Crown Princess will join them at the supply centre before William and Kate head on to see off a British Airways Boeing 747 loaded with 45 tonnes of aid supplies as it leaves for the stricken region.

East Africa is a cause close to the couple’s hearts and it is their third official engagement as a married couple since their wedding in April. They got engaged last year while on a visit to Lake Rutundu in Mount Kenya and in 2001 William spent longer than three months of his learning about Africa's wildlife and environment while visiting a number of countries during his gap year.

William’s father, the Prince of Wales, will also visit east Africa this week as he travels to South Africa before moving on to Tanzania.

"Right now, Unicef, along with many other partners, is working tirelessly to ensure that children's lives can be saved across East Africa,” said the agency’s eastern Africa chief Elhadj As Sy.

"Every day children are being given food and water thanks to the huge generosity of the public all around the world, he told the Press Association. “But there is so much more to be done. As we speak, more than 320,000 children are in grave danger and need life-saving emergency supplies, like those being shipped and airlifted from our warehouse."

In some areas, a child is dying every six minutes, according to figures from UK charity, Save The Children. And since the crisis began this summer, now heavy rains have left people in camps at risk of disease as well as starvation. The UK is giving £200m in aid to the affected region, £72m of which comes from public donations.

Hayley attribution