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Geneva, Switzerland, 28 September 2015 - MSC Cruises S.A., the world’s largest privately-owned cruise line and market leader in Europe as well as in South America and South Africa, announced yesterday that, in the framework of its partnership with UNICEF, €4million were raised to-date on board its ships around the globe. In conjunction with this, at a ceremony held at Expo Milano 2015 yesterday, in the presence of UNICEF and MSC Cruises executives, hundreds of children and other stakeholders as well as Expo visitors from all over the world, the symbolic cheque for €4million was handed over to Philippe Baud, Deputy Director of UNICEF Switzerland by MSC Cruises’ Daniela Picco, Head of Strategic Partnerships .

MSC Cruises and UNICEF joined forces in 2009 under the ‘Get on Board for Children’ initiative, which encourages guests on board MSC Cruises ships to make a contribution to UNICEF. UNICEF is the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the UN agency that fights for the rights of children around the world and is active in more than 190 countries and territories.

Pierfrancesco Vago, MSC Cruises’ Executive Chairman, commented: “MSC Cruises and UNICEF have long-established a strong relationship, having worked hand in hand since 2009 on a programme that positively impacts the life of thousands of children around the world. We are thus extremely proud to have reached the €4 million milestone and wish to thank our guests for their continued generosity in support of UNICEF and our joint programme.
Elsbeth Müller, executive director of the Swiss Committee for UNICEF, is very pleased about the result of the partnership. ”With the Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) subsidized by the MSC Cruises guests donations, we have been able to save the lives of thousands of children and have helped them to a healthy start in life.”

“Furthermore,” concluded Mr Vago, “MSC Group – which includes cargo and the other businesses under the MSC umbrella worldwide – and its staff are honoured to now also organise the logistics and shipping capacities to deliver these life-saving goods. Thanks to the global reach of our operations, when the situation calls for it, we have the capability to deliver literally to the four corners of the world.”

Daniela Picco also commented: “Expo Milano 2015, focused on ‘Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life’, provides the perfect platform for MSC Cruises to hold such an event as the eyes of the world are set on it, and this, in turn, will allow for greater awareness raising about UNICEF’s crucial work in favour of children around the world. In addition, as a mother, I take a lot of pride in knowing that our guests’ contributions and MSC’s involvement and logistical support enabled UNICEF to bring life-saving assistance to close to 10,000 children in the last six months only. ”

Amongst the most recent developments related to the “Get on Board for Children” programme, early in 2014 the partnership between MSC Cruises and UNICEF was expanded with a new life-saving initiative to provide assistance to malnourished children by delivering Ready-to-Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF) – such as Plumpy’Nut® – to treat severe malnutrition in developing countries and in those affected by crisis situations. In this endeavour, to this day, more than €1.3 million was put to use to help children and their families in Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Nepal.

Amongst other activities, on board its ships MSC Cruises organises edutainment activities for children and their parents, to raise awareness of UNICEF’s work and the needs of children around the world. Each week will see a dedicated UNICEF Day that includes fun games, a children’s parade and the distribution to each participating youngster of a leaflet to teach them about malnutrition in the world as well as a UNICEF World Citizen passport that is stamped after each educational activity is completed, making them an ambassador for the rights of the child worldwide.

Additionally, following the concert given the children’s choir Piccolo Coro "Mariele Ventre" dell'Antoniano di Bologna, yesterday saw the release of another industry first by MSC Cruises, an original cartoon that tells the story of the Company’s mascot Doremi and its family on board a ship of the fleet. The “Doremi Cartoon” created by Matteo Mancini , MSC Corporate Youth Activities Coordinator and realized by “Antoniano Production” with “Graffiti Media factory”, is a further indication of MSC Cruises’ dedication to offering best-in-class youth and family-focused programmes and entertainment, and will be available to guests and their children throughout the fleet as well as on YouTube.

Over the years, MSC Cruises’ collaboration has provided several UNICEF projects with funds to combat poverty and inequality as well as, from 2009 to 2013, malaria in some parts of the world. Close to €2.6 million was used in various projects in Brazil to help children in 126 vulnerable communities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paolo gain access to a quality education. In addition, part of that amount was used to fight malaria in high-burden countries such as Mauritania, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Comoros.