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At a glance: Haiti

High-profile UNICEF supporters raise Haiti relief funds and awareness

© UNICEF video
Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow appears in a public service announcement urging donor support for UNICEF’s Haiti earthquake relief efforts.

NEW YORK, USA, 5 February 2010 – UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War Ishmael Beah and long-time Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow, are among the latest UNICEF supporters to add their voices to the worldwide appeal for donations to help children in Haiti, in the wake of the 12 January earthquake there.

VIDEO: Watch now: Ishmael Beah
VIDEO: Watch now: Mia Farrow

As UNICEF and its partners continue to provide daily delivery of life-saving water, nutrition, shelter and medicine in the disaster zone, assistance to unaccompanied children – many of whom have lost parents or became separated from their families – has become a central focus of UNICEF's humanitarian operations.

In her public service announcement, recorded today in New York, Ms. Farrow pointed out that nearly half of Haiti's population is under the age of 18. She called the crisis in Haiti “a children’s emergency.”

Thousands of these children need to be “found, fed, protected, registered and reunited with their families,” Mr. Beah, a best-selling author and one-time child soldier, noted in his PSA.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0125/LeMoyne
UNICEF staff work at computers during the night in makeshift offices set up at the UN logistical base near the Port-au-Prince airport. Celebrity supporters around the world have been raising awareness and funds for UNICEF relief operations in Haiti.

International celebrities
Since the disaster struck, many other internationally recognized personalities have highlighted UNICEF’s work in Haiti, as well.

From PSAs to op-ed pieces to postings on UNICEF’s social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, stars such as Angélique Kidjo, Mia Farrow and Ewan McGregor have gone on the air and online to raise funds.

In a video message she recorded earlier in the emergency, Ms. Kidjo appealed to donors to help UNICEF help Haiti’s children. “As a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, I need you to join me. Your donation to UNICEF will make a lifesaving difference to untold thousands,” she said.

© UNICEF/NYHQ2010-0109/LeMoyne
A pregnant woman carries a basin of food and other items in quake-devastated Port-au-Prince, Haiti. After decades of hardship and political instability, and despite pressing need, Haitians remain resilient amid disaster.

Diego Torres video spot
Argentine composer and singer Diego Torres – a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Latin America – also recorded a fundraising appeal, in Spanish, from Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and piano legend Lang Lang is supporting Haiti relief by donating proceeds from a 21 March performance at Carnegie Hall in New York. Another $25,000 has been pledged to the US Fund for UNICEF by the foundation run by Olympic swimming champion Michael Phelps.

All these initiatives – coupled with January’s star-powered MTV ‘Hope for Haiti Now’ concert, an interview on CNN’s ‘Larry King Live’ by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, UNICEF’s Eminent Advocate for Children, and other celebrity appearances – have served to keep the emergency in Haiti in the public eye and raise crucial funds.




UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow makes an appeal for donations to help address the children's emergency in Haiti.
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Watch a public service announcement for Haiti relief, recorded by UNICEF Advocate for Children Affected by War Ishmael Beah.
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Watch a fundraising appeal for Haiti relief, recorded by UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Latin America Diego Torres. En español.
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UNICEF Mexico National Ambassador and award-winning singer/songwriter Julieta Venegas makes a fundraising appeal for children in Haiti. En español.
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