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UNICEF Corporate and Philanthropic Partnerships

MSC Cruises


MSC Group is proud of its contribution as a key supporter of UNICEF programmes since 2009, committed to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

MSC Cruises supports UNICEF's work through  the «Get on Board for Children» initiative, collecting donations from guests and selling UNICEF products on board of all MSC Cruises ships and also providing logistical services  through MSC Cargo.

Since the beginning of the partnership, MSC and its guests have collected more than € 8 million (nearly US$ 9.6 million) for children in need.

Since 2014: Fighting child malnutrition and supporting emergency relief

A five-year commitment to deliver tangible results for children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in developing countries and countries affected by crises, providing life-saving therapeutic milk and Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods such as Plumpy’Nut®.

Sustained impact

Thanks to MSC’s support, UNICEF has provided Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods and therapeutic milk to multiple health facilities and communities, helping to treat children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition in some of the most vulnerable areas of the world.

Since 2014 MSC’s support has enabled to deliver 6,571,002 sachets of Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Foods to several thousands of children in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Malawi.

UNICEF & MSC together in the field

MSC’s current commitment: responding to the child malnutrition emergency in Malawi

MSC Cruises and UNICEF are partnering to support the most vulnerable children affected by crisis.

Severe floods and droughts have brought hardship and suffering to millions of people in Malawi, due in part to the extreme El Niño that occurred in 2015. As a result, the country is facing a household food security crisis that is causing tens of thousands of children to suffer from malnutrition.

Even before this national nutrition crisis, only 15 per cent of Malawian children aged between 6 and 23 months were receiving the minimum diet necessary to support their growth and development. The prevalence of moderate and severe acute malnutrition was then 2.7 per cent and 1.1 per cent respectively, while more than 42 per cent of all children in Malawi were stunted due to chronic malnutrition.

This fragile situation for children under five years old is crumbling in the face of the household food security crisis and could deteriorate rapidly, with concerns of markedly increased malnutrition rates and a greater likelihood of water-borne diseases such as cholera.

The crisis has currently impacted 1.5 million Malawian children and it is estimated that 76,000 children under the age of five in 25 emergency districts are already suffering from severe acute malnutrition.

Responding to this threat, MSC has become UNICEF’s  strategic partner in a dedicated project to treat malnutrition in 25 emergency-affected districts of Malawi, aiming to save 100,000 children suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition by December 2018.

Overcoming Malnutrition: Ready-to-use-therapeutic food save lives

Famine or severe acute malnutrition is the most destructive form of malnutrition. It has a devastating effect on the youngest and most vulnerable, claiming the lives of over three million children every year and stunting the physical and mental development of many more.

The period between birth and the age of three is a time of rapid growth, making it a unique opportunity to provide a child with a strong nutritional and immunological foundation. Intellectual and physical growth is the most rapid, with doubling of brain size and quadrupling of body weight. If a child is malnourished during these early years, much of the damage is irreversible

Elsbeth Müller, Executive Director of UNICEF Switzerland is heartened by how much it has already been possible to achieve with MSC’s generous support: "Thanks to the partnership of MSC Cruises, we have been able to treat thousands of malnourished children and thereby give them a healthy start in life.

Daniela Picco, Head of Strategic Partnerships at MSC Cruises, stated "We are delighted that our continuing partnership with UNICEF has reached and indeed surpassed a further milestone with nearly 6 million euros raised to date. Seeing so many children’s lives transformed by our guests’ generosity combined with the logistics and facilities support of the rest of the Group has been a humbling experience. It’s an achievement of which we are immensely proud, testifying to MSC’s strong family-oriented values and beliefs".

More than just fundraising: MSC engagement raises awareness

What makes MSC a complete partner, is its deep commitment to social responsibility and engagement in issues affecting children.

Leveraging its extensive global network, MSC is committed to increasing awareness of UNICEF’s work worldwide through advocacy campaigns and integrated initiatives that raise the UNICEF awareness of children and families on board.


Children engage directly with UNICEF through a dedicated on-board children’s programme centred on “MSC FOR UNICEF Day», a stimulating weekly activity which brings children the opportunity to learn more about UNICEF and its work.

Every year 200,000 children on board take part in MSC FOR UNICEF Day activities.

A song to believe in a better world

In 2014, MSC Cruises and UNICEF launched a song performed by a renowned Italian children's choir. This special song, called "I Can Believe - MSC for UNICEF", is used as a soundtrack for all activities raising awareness about UNICEF on MSC Cruises ships and is played during the children’s parade on every ship.

Projects supported by MSC from 2009 to 2013

Education for all in BRAZIL

  • Strengthen the participation and learning performance of children & adolescents (7-18 years old) in state schools in vulnerable communities (127 comunidades populaires - 64 in Rio de Janeiro and 63 in Sao Paolo)
  • A youth ambassador scheme combating violence in schools to make education safe for all.
  • Community representatives focused on school management, health services and the creation of local learning networks. 
  • Measures promoting child survival, education, safety and protection against HIV/AIDS.
  • Capacity development activities improving general services for children and adolescents across the board.
  • A community-inspired and -organised waste recycling project that has helped achieve cleaner streets and a healthier environment in Rio de Janeiro.

Fighthing Malaria

  • Reducing child mortality from Malaria
  • Insecticide-impregnated mosquito nets for high-burden countries such as Mauritania, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros.
  • Emergency health kits providing a rapid diagnostic test and drugs for the treatment of uncomplicated malaria by healthcare workers. 
  • Intermittent preventive care for pregnant women during antenatal visits, thereby substantially reducing the incidence of anaemia in mothers and low birth weights in their children.
  •  Effective treatment (such as artemisinin-based combination therapy - ACT) within 24 hours of disease onset.


About MSC Group

Founded in 1970, the Swiss-based MSC Group has grown to become is one of the largest container shipping lines in the world.

MSC Cruises, a member of the MSC Group, is the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and the market leader in Europe, South America and South Africa, sailing year-round in the Mediterranean and Caribbean. Seasonal itineraries cover Northern Europe, the Atlantic Ocean, Cuba and the French Antilles, South America, Southern Africa, China and Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Oman. Its fleet comprises 12 of the most modern ships at sea.

MSC Cruises has launched a visionary investment plan to support the second phase of its growth, ordering 11 new next-generation ships that will come into service between 2017 and 2026. MSC Cruises is the first global cruise line brand to develop an investment plan of this magnitude and duration, spanning a horizon of over ten years, from 2014 to 2026.

Learn more at www.msccruises.com



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