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MTV telethon caps celebrity efforts to support UNICEF and partners

© Ricky Martin/Twitter
UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Ricky Martin in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, where he travelled to support earthquake relief efforts by UNICEF and Habitat for Humanity.

The stars come out for Haiti relief
 
NEW YORK, USA, 21 January 2009 – The two-hour, star-powered ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ global concert benefiting Haiti earthquake relief – scheduled for broadcast on Friday – features more than 100 artists, many of whom have shown a long-time commitment to supporting UNICEF’s work in emergencies.

“There is a great need for immediate aid in Haiti, but also for longer-term reconstruction,” UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and singer-songwriter Shakira wrote on her website today.

As early as last Wednesday, one day after the quake hit Port-au-Prince and other densely populated areas, Shakira was urging fans to donate to UNICEF to help the survivors. Today, she announced an initiative through her Barefoot Foundation to build a new school in the devastated country. 

Singer Ricky Martin, another Goodwill Ambassador slated to participate in the MTV telethon, is returning to Los Angeles from a three-day visit in Port-au-Prince, where he witnessed aid operations on the ground.

“People from all over the world in one place working with love, focused on giving,” he posted on Twitter upon arriving in the Haitian capital. On his website, Mr. Martin has also urged fans to donate to UNICEF.

On the air and online
Since the disaster struck on 12 January, many other internationally recognized personalities have highlighted UNICEF’s work in Haiti.

From public service announcements to op-ed pieces to regular appeals via Facebook and other social media sites, stars such as Angélique Kidjo, Mia Farrow and Ewan McGregor have gone on the air and online to raise funds.

Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, has kept a strong focus on Haiti on her blog and Twitter feed. “A sombre day; His Majesty & I received the bodies of 3 courageous Jordanian peacekeepers killed in Haiti. God bless their souls,” she wrote on Twitter on Monday.

In the United States, veteran CNN talk show host Larry King featured Queen Rania and other high-profile names early this week on a two-hour special that helped raise more than $3 million for UNICEF.

Meanwhile, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and concert pianist Lang Lang is supporting Haiti relief by donating proceeds from an upcoming performance at Carnegie Hall. Another $25,000 has been pledged to the US Fund for UNICEF by the foundation run by Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps.

Support for aid organizations
The ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ telethon was organized by Oscar-winning actor George Clooney, who will host the broadcast with Haitian-born singer Wyclef Jean. CNN’s Anderson Cooper will report live from Haiti.

In Los Angeles, UNICEF USA Ambassadors Téa Leone and Selena Gomez will participate by answering phones, together with Mr. Martin.

Donations from the event will benefit a number of aid organizations, including UNICEF, the World Food Programme, and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

For more information:
Tamar Hahn, thahn@unicef.org, UNICEF América Latina y el Caribe
www.unicef.org/lac

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About UNICEF
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

 

 

 
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