FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – Started in 2009, MSC’s collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has helped build hope for children in need around the world. In the past four years, as part of MSC Cruises’ “Get on Board for Children” initiative, and thanks to the generosity of MSC Cruises’ guests, more than US $3.7 million were donated to UNICEF in Brazil to combat poverty and inequality by helping children in 126 vulnerable communities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paolo achieve access to quality education.
On January 1, 2014, a new life-saving partnership between MSC Cruises and UNICEF commenced with the aim of providing assistance to malnourished children by delivering Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods (RUTF) – such as Plumpy’Nut® (a peanut-based paste for the treatment of severe malnutrition) in developing countries and in countries affected by crisis situations.
Malnutrition and famine claim the lives of over a million children yearly and stunt the physical and mental development of many more. Severe acute malnutrition has traditionally required hospitalisation, however RUTFs can be eaten straight from a sachet. They can be given to children without being mixed in water, working in any situation, at home and without medical supervision.
“Around three sachets a day for four to six weeks can put a child out of harm’s way. With the generosity of our on board guests, we will do our best to save and improve as many lives as possible,” says Gianni Onorato, CEO of MSC Cruises. “MSC Cruises believes that global leadership brings increased responsibility towards the physical and human environments in which it operates, and as such we are proud to have strengthened our partnership with UNICEF. Together, we can make a difference.”
“We are delighted with our long-standing partnership with MSC Cruises. It makes a significant contribution to improving living conditions for thousands of children,” said Elsbeth Müller, Executive Director of UNICEF Switzerland. “We are impressed that MSC passengers donate over a dollar to UNICEF at check-out. Their donation helps ensure that children grow up healthily and have a promising future. Thank you very much for this great commitment.”
By donating just US $1.50 to “Get on Board for Children”, MSC guests help buy three meals of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food. A full treatment to save a child’s life in four to six weeks costs approximately US $56.00.
In addition to donations received from guests, MSC Cruises will organise educational activities for children on board, raising awareness about UNICEF’s work and children’s needs worldwide.