MSC Cruises has announced this Tuesday, May 8, that to date has raised more than 8 million euros for UNICEF thanks to the contributions of its passengers. The funds raised are used to supply malnourished children with ready-to-use therapeutic foods (RUTF) such as Plumpy ‘Nut. For the time being, more than 6.5 million RUTF envelopes have been delivered to children in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Malawi.
The CEO of MSC Cruises, Pierfrancesco Vago, has expressed his satisfaction for “having reached this new milestone of contributions, thanks to the generosity of our passengers”. “We are a family business and, as such, we are very concerned about the wellbeing of families around the world, through the funds raised on board our ships, thanks to our ‘Get on Board for Children’ initiative, we provide food that they save the lives of children with severe malnutrition throughout the world, where and when they most need it, “he said.
The partnership between MSC Cruises and UNICEF started in 2009, and in 2013 they launched a joint global initiative to help children with malnutrition in developing countries or affected by different crises. The purpose of the initiative is for the passengers of the entire MSC Cruises fleet to make a contribution to UNICEF.
Between 2013 and 2017, thanks to these contributions, more than 20,500 children have received treatment in Somalia, more than 15,700 in South Sudan, more than 9,400 in Ethiopia and, more recently, more than 35,000 in Malawi. To address multiple problems such as food shortages, floods, stagnant economies and protracted droughts, the need for food aid in these countries remains imperative, especially for the lives of children.
With this ongoing partnership, MSC Cruises and UNICEF try to jointly combat hunger and have already offered food to nearly 81,150 children and their families since 2013. Specifically in Malawi, until the end of 2019, MSC Cruises is the only corporate partner working for help UNICEF reach more than 45% of children with severe malnutrition who live in the 28 districts of the country.
The objective of this program, supported by MSC Cruises, is to try and rehabilitate 45,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition with 621 metric tons of therapeutic food ready for use, as well as therapeutic milk and other nutritional supplies.
The current option of concentrating aid in Malawi is due to specific reasons, as explained by UNICEF Swiss Council President Hans Künzle: “More than half of the 18.2 million Malawians are under 18 years of age and approximately 63% of children suffer from multidimensional poverty. ”
“However, Malawi has experienced remarkable progress in the well-being of children, thanks also to the valuable support of MSC Cruises, so it is extremely important that we continue our work in this country. of Malawi, especially the most disadvantaged and most deprived, see their needs met, “he said.
On the other hand, MSC Cruises underlines that it organizes “educational entertainment” activities for children and their parents. Thus, every week, the program aboard all the ships of MSC Cruises includes a day dedicated to UNICEF with fun games, a children’s parade and the delivery of a brochure to the little ones to raise their awareness about malnutrition in the world. They also receive a UNICEF Citizen of the World passport, which is stamped after completing each educational activity, making them ambassadors of the rights of children around the world.