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At a glance: Haiti

The stars come out for Haiti relief

MTV telethon caps celebrity efforts to support UNICEF and partners

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

NEW YORK, USA, 23 January 2009 – The two-hour, star-powered ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ global concert benefiting Haiti earthquake relief – broadcast by MTV last night – featured 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.

As early as last 13 January, 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. This week, she announced an initiative through her Barefoot Foundation to build a new school in the devastated country. 

Singer Ricky Martin, another Goodwill Ambassador participating in the MTV telethon, had returned to Los Angeles from a visit to 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, many other internationally recognized personalities have highlighted UNICEF’s work in Haiti.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2008-0898/LeMoyne
In September 2008, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow walks with children in Port-au-Prince as Haiti struggles to recover from a series of destructive hurricanes.

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. (Click here to watch Mr. McGregor’s PSA.)

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.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2007-2025/Noorani
In December 2007, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Shakira consoles an 11-year-old survivor of Cyclone Nargis in Bangladesh. Shakira is now supporting Haiti quake relief online and through her foundation.

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

In Los Angeles, UNICEF USA Ambassador, actress and singer Selena Gomez participated 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.





Watch a public service announcement produced by UNICEF to encourage donations for earthquake relief in Haiti.
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Watch a public service announcement for Haiti relief, recorded by UNICEF UK Ambassador Ewan McGregor.
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UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angélique Kidjo appears in a video message calling for donations to assist children in Haiti.
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