€4 Million raised through UNICEF and MSC Cruises partnership
MSC Cruises yesterday announced that, in the framework of its partnership with UNICEF, €4 million have been raised to-date on board its ships. The symbolic cheque for €4 million was handed over to Phillipe Baud, Deputy Director of UNICEF Switzerland by MSC Cruises’ Daniela Picco, Head of Strategic Partnerships at a ceremony held at Expo Milan 2015 in the presence of UNICEF and MSC Cruises executives, hundreds of children, and other stakeholders.
MSC Cruises and UNICEF joined forces in 2009 under the ‘Get on Board for Children’ initiative, which encourages guests on board MSC cruise ships to make a contribution to UNICEF.
Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, commented: “MSC Cruises and UNICEF have long-established a strong relationship, having worked hand in hand since 2009 on a programme that positively impacts the life of thousands of children around the world. We are thus extremely proud to have reached the €4 million milestone and wish to thank our guests for their continued generosity in support of UNICEF and our joint programme”.
In early 2014, the partnership between MSC Cruises and UNICEF was expanded with a new life-saving initiative to provide assistance to malnourished children by delivering Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) – such as Plumpy’Nut® – to treat severe malnutrition in developing countries and in those affected by crisis situations. In this endeavour, to this day, more than €1.3 million was put to use to help children and their families in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Nepal.
Elisbeth Müller, executive director of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF, is very pleased about the result of the partnership. ”With the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) subsidized by the MSC Cruises guest donations, we have been able to save the lives of thousands of children and have helped them to a healthy start in life.”
“Furthermore,” concluded Mr Vago, “the MSC Group – which includes cargo – and its staff are honoured to now also organise the logistics and shipping capacities to deliver these life-saving goods. Thanks to the global reach of our operations, when the situation calls for it, we have the capability to deliver – literally – to the four corners of the world.”
Amongst other activities, on board its ships, MSC Cruises organises edutainment activities for children and their parents to raise awareness of UNICEF’s work and the needs of children around the world.
MSC Cruises’ guest contributions and the company’s involvement and logistical support has enabled UNICEF to bring life-saving assistance to close to 10,000 children in the last six months alone. Over the years, the collaboration has provided several UNICEF projects with funds to combat poverty and inequality. Close to €2.6 million has been used in various projects in Brazil to help children in 126 vulnerable communities, in Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo, to gain access to quality education. In addition, part of that amount was used to fight malaria in high-burden countries such as Mauritania, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Comoros.