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MSC Cruises Renews Its ‘Get On Board For Children’ Initiative With Unicef Passengers donate $4.3 million in past four years

February 18, 2014 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

Life for some of the world’s impoverished children will look a lot rosier today thanks to the generosity of passengers cruising with MSC Cruises.

In the past four years more than €2.8 million (about A$4.3 million) has been raised through the cruise line’s highly commended “Get on Board for Children” initiative.


This well received initiative was created in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to combat poverty and inequality in ensuring children in 126 vulnerable communities of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo achieve access to a quality education. 

At the start of this year MSC Cruises went even further by starting a life-saving partnership with UNICEF aimed at providing assistance to malnourished children in other developing countries and in countries affected by crisis situations.

This partnership was designed to deliver Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) – like Plumpy’Nut – to these affected countries.

Malnutrition and famine claim the lives of over a million children every year and stunt the physical and mental development of many more. Severe acute malnutrition has traditionally required hospitalisation. However RUTFs can be eaten straight from the sachet. They can be given to children without being mixed in water, so they can work 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 and with the generosity of our on board guests we will do our best to save and improve as many lives as possible,” declared 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 Elisbeth Müller, executive director of UNICEF Switzerland. “We are impressed that passengers donate one Euro 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 € 1 (about A$1.50) to “Get on Board for Children” MSC guests can 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 €42 (about A$65).

In addition to donations received from guests, MSC Cruises will also organise edutainment activities for children on board, raising awareness of UNICEF’s work and children’s needs around the world.

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