Written by: Cruise News
September 28, 2015 - MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line, announced yesterday that, in the framework of its partnership with UNICEF, €4million (about $4.4 million) have been raised to-date on board its ships around the globe. In conjunction with this, at a ceremony held at Expo Milano 2015 yesterday – in the presence of UNICEF and MSC Cruises executives, hundreds of children and other stakeholders as well as Expo visitors from all over the world – the symbolic check for €4million was handed over to Philippe Baud, Deputy Director of UNICEF Switzerland by MSC Cruises’ Daniela Picco, Head of Strategic Partnerships.
MSC Cruises and UNICEF joined forces in 2009 under the ‘Get on Board for Children’ initiative, which encourages guests on board MSC Cruises ships to make a contribution to UNICEF. UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN agency that fights for the rights of children around the world and is active in more than 190 countries and territories.
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 program 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 program.”
Elsbeth 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 guests donations, we have been able to save the lives of thousands of children and have helped them to a healthy start in life.”
Vago added: “MSC Group – which includes cargo and the other businesses under the MSC umbrella worldwide – and its staff are honored to now also organize 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, MSC has the capability to deliver literally to the four corners of the world.”
Daniela Picco also commented: “Expo Milano 2015, focused on ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,’ provides the perfect platform for MSC Cruises to hold such an event as the eyes of the world are set on it, and this, in turn, helps raise awareness about the crucial work UNICEF does in favor of children around the world. In addition, as a mother, I take a lot of pride in knowing that our guests’ contributions and MSC’s involvement and logistical support enabled UNICEF to bring life-saving assistance to close to 10,000 children in the last six months alone. ”
Amid the most recent developments related to the “Get on Board for Children” program, early in 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 endeavor, to this day, more than €1.3 million (about $1.4 million) has been put to use to help children and their families in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Nepal.
Among other activities, on board its ships MSC Cruises organizes edutainment activities for children and their parents, to raise awareness of UNICEF’s work and the needs of children around the world. Each week, families on board MSC Cruises’ fleet have the opportunity to participate in a dedicated UNICEF Day that includes fun games, a children’s parade and the distribution of a leaflet to participating children teaching them about malnutrition in the world. Children also receive a UNICEF World Citizen passport that is stamped after each educational activity is completed, making them an ambassador for the rights of children worldwide.