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  • United Nations Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors Mobilize to Assist Haiti

    22-02-2010 12:00 am United Nations Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors acted quickly in the days following the 12 January earthquake in Haiti to raise money, increase awareness and help the people of Haiti rebuild their country and their lives.

    The Messengers of Peace and Goodwill Ambassadors, public figures from the world of art, academia, literature, sports and entertainment who advocate on issues of importance to the United Nations, participated in a range of activities related to Haiti’s recovery efforts.

    Messenger of Peace George Clooney, in collaboration with MTV Networks, produced the telethon, Hope for Haiti Now. The global broadcast on 22 January was viewed by 83 million people and raised at least $61 million in pledges from the general public. The two-hour event included testimonials from Haiti and musical performances by many celebrity artists. Messengers of Peace Charlize Theron and Stevie Wonder participated in the telethon by manning phone banks in Los Angeles. Proceeds from the event benefited the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the United Nations Children’s Fund’s (UNICEF), the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund, the Red Cross and other relief organizations working in Haiti.

    Angelina Jolie, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), travelled to Haiti on 9-10 February. She met with earthquake survivors living in camps in the southern city of Jacmel. More than 500,000 people have been living in camps around the country since the earthquake.

    Ms. Jolie also visited a school destroyed by the quake, and a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) project in the Carrefour district of Port-au-Prince. The UNDP cash-for-work programme is putting thousands of Haitian men and women back to work in their communities, helping them restart their lives. “To give people the ability to work towards their own future is so important at this time. It helps to restore their hope and respects their dignity,” said Ms. Jolie, who also donated $1 million to Médecins Sans Frontières’ Haiti Earthquake Victims fund.

    Football playerLuis Figo, Goodwill Ambassador for Stop TB Partnership, was one of the 60 international football players who competed in UNDP’s “Match against Poverty” in Lisbon on 25 January, produced in partnership with the Benefica Club. The exhibition soccer match raised more than $767,000 for UNDP’s cash-for-work programme in Haiti. “Every time we get together for this match we can help make a difference,” said retired footballer Zinédine Zidane,Goodwill Ambassador for UNDP. “We can’t stress enough the importance of mobilizing people for the recovery of the disaster that just occurred in Haiti and for the ongoing projects we have with UNDP.”

    Messenger of Peace Her Royal Highness Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein of Jordan travelled to Haiti on 22 January, bringing with her nearly 100 tons of relief supplies such as tents, canned food, water sanitation equipment, emergency medical kits and telecommunications equipment. The shipment was organized by the International Humanitarian City, a global humanitarian aid hub in Dubai, at the request of the World Food Programme. Princess Haya returned to the Middle East with evacuees from Haiti.

    UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow wrote an op-ed, “What You Can Do for Haiti’s Children”, for CNN.com. She has given many media interviews to highlight the situation in Haiti. Along with her fellow Goodwill Ambassadors, singer Angélique Kidjo and former child soldier and human rights activist Ishmael Beahof Sierra Leone, Ms. Farrow recorded public service announcements urging public support for UNICEF’s relief efforts in Haiti.

    Chinese concert pianist and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Lang Lang has pledged proceeds of his 21 March concert at Carnegie Hall in New York to UNICEF.

    UNICEF also provided their Goodwill Ambassadors with key messages on Haiti to use on their social networking sites, urging their fans to donate to supportunicef.org. Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan, Eminent Advocate for UNICEF, posted an appeal for funds via her Twitter page and blog.

    World Health Organization (WHO) Goodwill Ambassador Jet Li recorded a statement urging public support and response to the earthquake. His public service announcement is posted on the WHO website and on the One Foundation website.

    Chelsea footballer Michael Ballack, a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), issued a call to support the rebuilding of Haiti. The captain of the German National football team asked for support for HIV-positive Haitians to ensure they have sustained access to antiretroviral treatments and essential health care.

    Portuguese actress and United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Goodwill Ambassador Catarina Furtado is actively speaking and giving media interviews about the needs for maternal health in Haiti. Ms. Furtado plans to visit Haiti later this year to highlight the country’s maternal health issues for a television special.

    Mexican rock group Maná, Cuban musician Chucho Valdés and Colombian singer Fanny Lu, Goodwill Ambassadors for the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), posted online donation links on their websites and social networking platforms. American jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, Israeli singer Noa, and Italian singer Al Bano Carrisi,all Goodwill Ambassadors for FAO, donated pro-bono sound tracks through iTunes’ Haiti call for action.

    French musician Jean Michel Jarre and Jamaican Olympic gold medallist Veronica Campbell-Brown, Goodwill Ambassador and Champion for Sport respectively for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) participated in fundraising efforts and advocacy messages.







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    Updated:22-02-2010 11:21 am