|Romania’s President Traian Basescu pitches in to answer calls from the public during a telethon that raised money to support 'baby-friendly' hospitals.|
BUCHAREST, Romania, 13 May 2008 - A UNICEF fundraising event that aired on Romanian National Television has raised €250,000 for the development of ‘baby-friendly’ hospitals in the country.
“This is a joint project of the Ministry of Health and UNICEF. We would like all maternities to become baby-friendly hospitals and ensure the best conditions for all the babies delivered in Romania,” explained Romanian Health Minister Eugen Nicolaescu.
UNICEF Representative in Romania Edmond McLoughney thanked the Romanian public for their generosity.
“The funds raised will go a long way towards realizing the certification of close to 20 baby-friendly hospitals in Romania by the end of next year. This means that babies will be born in hospitals that promote exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of life, leading to a new generation of healthier, happier and smarter children,” he said.
Mr. McLoughney also called upon the public and corporations to share in this exciting initiative by continuing to invest in “the country’s most important resource – its children.”
Calls answered by government officials
The Head of State, President Traian Băsescu, along with Prime Minister Călin Popescu Tăriceanu and his wife, Ioana Popescu Tăriceanu, and Health Minister Nicolaescu, showed strong support for the baby-friendly hospital initiative by answering telephones at the television studio to accept donations from viewers.
|UNICEF Romania Ambassador Andreea Marin Bănică (centre), UNICEF Representative in Romania Edmond Mcloughney (right) and TV presenter Cristian Topescu pose for the cameras at the star-studded fundraiser.|
Organized by UNICEF and the national broadcaster TVR1, the event was hosted by Andreea Marin Bănică, a UNICEF Ambassador for Romania, along with well known Romanian broadcaster Cristian Ţopescu.
A highlight of Saturday’s telethon was the appearance of UNICEF International Goodwill Ambassador Nana Mouskouri, who talked about her 15 years of experience with UNICEF and her belief in the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for all infants.
Many prominent Romanian personalities joined the President and Prime Minister in the studio to answer calls and to announce donations. Among them were operatic soprano Angela Gheorghiu, Palme d’Or-winning film director Cristian Mungiu, Golden Stag Festival winner Luminita Dobrescu and many others.
|Romania’s Prime Minister Calin Popescu, with his wife Ioana Popescu Tariceanu, in Bucharest taking calls from donors during the telethon organized by UNICEF and national broadcaster TVR1.|
Senior government officials and other partners who helped to accept donations by phone included the Acting Secretary of State in the National Authority for the Protection of Child Rights, Gabriella Tonk, and Romania's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Simona Miculescu.
Corporate donors also showed their commitment to the cause, taking donations by phone and announcing their own contributions. Among them were Carrefour, Amway, Pampers, Valvis Foundation, and The Group Foundation. The fundraising campaign launched at the 10 May telethon will end on 10 June 2008.