MTV telethon caps celebrity efforts to support UNICEF and partners
The stars come out for Haiti relief
“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
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
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.