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MSC Cruises' Daniela Picco presents a symbolic cheque to Philippe Baud of UNICEF (Photo: MSC Cruises)

Expo Milano ceremony marks €4m MSC has raised for UNICEF

Passengers on MSC Cruises ships around the globe have donated €4m for UNICEF since 2009, an accomplishment marked in a ceremony at Expo Milano 2015 on Sunday.

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, an oversized symbolic cheque was presented 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 passengers to make a contribution to UNICEF. UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund that fights for the rights of children around the world and is active in more than 190 countries and territories.

MSC Cruises executive chairman Pierfrancesco Vago thanked passengers for their generosity in support of UNICEF and the joint programme.

Elsbeth Müller, executive director of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF, said the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food subsidized by MSC Cruises' passengers donations has saved the lives of thousands of children and helped them to get a healthy start.

Vago also noted the MSC Group, which includes cargo and other businesses worldwide, is now organising the logistics and shipping capacities to deliver these life-saving goods.

Picco said that, as a mother, she takes pride in knowing that passengers' contributions and MSC’s involvement and logistical support enabled UNICEF to help nearly 10,000 children in the last six months alone.

Among the recent developments related to the 'Get on Board for Children' programme, early in 2014 the partnership between MSC Cruises and UNICEF was expanded by delivering Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food, such as Plumpy’Nut, to treat severe malnutrition in developing countries and in those affected by crisis situations. To date, more than €1.3m has gone to help children and their families in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Nepal.

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