MSC Cruises has donated €3 million to UNICEF, the United Nations agency that fights for the rights of children around the world, during a handover ceremony at MSC Cruises’ Geneva headquarters.
MSC Cruises and UNICEF joined forces in 2009 under the ‘Get on Board for Children’ initiative, which encourages guests on board the 12 MSC Cruises ships to make a contribution to UNICEF.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is active in more than 190 countries and territories, and since 2009, MSC’s collaboration has provided UNICEF in Brazil with funds to combat poverty and inequality. The money has helped children in 126 vulnerable communities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo gain access to a quality education.
In January of this year, MSC Cruises and UNICEF started a new life-saving partnership 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 countries affected by crisis situations.
During a ceremony at the company headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, MSC Cruises Executive Chairman Pierfrancesco Vago handed the Executive Director of UNICEF Switzerland, Elsbeth Müller, a cheque for €3 million.
“At MSC Cruises we are honoured to be able to assist UNICEF in its endeavour to help starving children around the world. It was our duty to set in place such a concrete partnership that can save the lives of children for whom RUTF is an essential lifeline,” said Vago. “We are proud of the hard work achieved by all our staff, which made it possible to raise such an incredible amount of money. MSC as a group, which means cruises and cargo, is working hard to raise awareness of the project and to provide support to UNICEF through our very extensive network around the world.”
“I would like to thank MSC Cruises sincerely for the valuable longstanding partnership and today’s generous donation of €3 million,” said Elsbeth Müller. “The donation will be used for purchasing Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food for the treatment of children affected by severe acute malnutrition. Severe acute malnutrition is a major killer of children under five, accounting for more than one million deaths annually. Around 20 million children worldwide are estimated to be suffering from very poor nutrition. Thanks to partners like MSC Cruises, we can make sure that those children will have a future.”
In addition to donations from guests, MSC Cruises also organises edutainment activities for children on board, raising awareness of UNICEF’s work and the needs of children around the world. Each week will see a dedicated UNICEF Day that includes fun games, a children’s parade and the distribution to each participating youngster of a UNICEF World Citizen passport, making them an ambassador for the rights of the child worldwide. In addition, MSC Cruises has launched a new song performed by an Italian children’s choir called ‘I Can Believe – MSC for UNICEF’, to provide a soundtrack to all UNICEF support efforts on board MSC Cruises ships.