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UNICEF Ambassador David Beckham launches UNICEF global TV campaign for tsunami emergency appeal

LONDON, 12 January 2005 – Newly appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham, will speak out for the Tsunami affected children in a UNICEF TV campaign urging support for the organisation’s work to meet their immediate and long term needs.

UNICEF is seeking £76.5 million to support urgent humanitarian aid for the next six-months for the 1.5 million children who have been affected by the disaster, and are in critical need of basic care and support. Beckham’s 30-second Public Service Announcement will serve as a valuable fundraising and advocacy tool for UNICEF offices across the world to assist UNICEF’s emergency relief operation.

The messages were filmed in Copenhagen this week, as Beckham visited UNICEF’s Supply Division. The division is key to UNICEF’s emergency response capacity; emergency supplies can be packed and shipped within 48 hours, delivering the items needed for children’s immediate survival and recovery from trauma.  Essential emergency items airlifted to the Tsunami affected countries include; health kits, measles vaccines, oral rehydration salts, water purification kits as well as school-in-a-box and sport-in-a-box kits as part of the long term relief effort.

David Beckham said: “I, like any other person was deeply moved by the effects of the Tsunami disaster.  So many people have lost loved ones and particularly children have suffered greatly with over a million who are vulnerable and at risk of disease.  People have been so generous to date and it is important that they continue to donate money to organisations such as UNICEF to help in aid relief and reconstruction. It is one of the proudest moments of my life to be given the role of UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and I hope to play a part in supporting these children at their time of need.”

One of UNICEF’s priorities for children affected by the Tsunami is to help them cope with their trauma by getting them back to school as soon as possible returning a sense of normality to their lives.  Sport and play is recognised as effective trauma therapy for children displaced by war and natural disaster and the sport-in-a-box kit provides equipment for 40 children to participate in team sports and games.  Beckham joins Team UNICEF with a special focus on UNICEF’s Sports for Development programme which promotes the power of sport to improve the lives of children, particularly those affected by poverty, disease and conflict.  Working with partners, UNICEF is incorporating opportunities for sport in its country programmes to reach children, families and communities around the world. In this role David Beckham will lend his knowledge and skill as a sportsman to UNICEF’s expertise in development to support this important work.

UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy said: “We are absolutely delighted that David Beckham has come on board as a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador.  The global TV appeal he has recorded will be enormously useful to help UNICEF meet the immediate survival needs of children affected by the Tsunami in the short term and in the weeks and months ahead as they rebuild their lives.  We are also looking forward to working together with David in the long term to use his expertise as a sportsman to support our Sport for Development programme"

A long-standing supporter of UNICEF, David Beckham was introduced to UNICEF at Manchester United. The club has raised over £1.2 million for the organisation through the United for UNICEF partnership. Beckham joins a number of high profile Ambassadors including Harry Belafonte, Sir Roger Moore, Mia Farrow, Susan Sarandon, Jemima Khan, Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor all of whom continue to give up their time and energy to raise funds and awareness on behalf of the world’s children. 

As a non-profit humanitarian agency funded entirely by voluntary contributions, UNICEF has a responsibility to provide as much support to the children affected by the Tsunami as possible.

For more information please contact:

UK Media contact: Lara Schlotterbeck at UNICEF UK, +4420 7312 7677, +44 207 430 0162, laras@unicef.org.uk

For International media: Wivina Belmonte – UNICEF Geneva, +41 22 909 5712, wbelmonte@unicef.org
Kate Donovan – UNICEF New York , +1 212 326 7452, kdonovan@unicef.org

Note to Broadcasters: The PSA and 9 minutes of professionally filmed UNICEF video of David Beckham’s appeal, visiting UNICEF’s Supply Division plus an interview will be made available on the APTN Global Video Wire and from BT Tower in London at 1415-1425 GMT on Wednesday 12 January.  Footage under embargo until 18.00 GMT. Satellite details: BT Tower: Owt 3 V3 s3 A&B and APTN's Global Video Wire.  The footage will also be available from http://www.thenewsmarket.com/ from 14:15GMT.




See also

Watch David Beckham’s video message

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Beckham visits Copenhagen supply hub
12 January 2005: Dan Thomas reports.

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Goodwill Ambassadors

Beckham joins Team UNICEF

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