12 MARCH 2024

MSC Foundation and UNICEF celebrate another big partnership milestone: $14 million donated to improve children’s lives  

Fourteen-year partnership goes from strength to strength, nurtured by strong mutual respect and unwavering commitment to development programmes, emergency relief and advocacy

Focus Area: Community Support, Education, Emergency Relief, Environmental Conservation


The MSC Foundation and UNICEF have passed another milestone in their longstanding partnership, reaching total donations of $14 million. To commemorate 14 years of impactful collaboration, the MSC Foundation presented UNICEF with a symbolic cheque representing the cumulative donations made since 2009. This sustained, substantial support powerfully demonstrates the foundation's commitment to UNICEF initiatives that have changed the lives of over 100,000 children and young people through eight programmes in eight countries.

I would like to thank the MSC Foundation for its incredible support over the past 14 years. It's heartwarming to see that over the past years, the Foundation's support for UNICEF has gone beyond fundraising to raising awareness and visibility of UNICEF's work,” said Bettina Junker, Executive Director of UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein. “Recently, the MSC Foundation has become a trusted partner for innovation in Côte d'Ivoire. Together, we are catalysing groundbreaking programmes that support children's education and increase employment opportunities for young people. We look forward to continuing this strong partnership for many more years to come.

The partnership has been instrumental in transforming the lives of countless children across the globe through a range of initiatives focused on community support, education, emergency relief and youth engagement.

MSC started its journey with UNICEF fundraising with cruise guests for its education and health programmes for children in Brazil, China, and Africa.  Witnessing the massive scale of children's humanitarian and development needs and the impactful work of UNICEF, we continuously strengthened our commitment to adapt our support to meet emerging needs,” said Pierfrancesco Vago, Executive Chairman of the Cruise Division of the MSC Group and Chair of the MSC Foundation Executive Committee. “Our commitment to the next generations is woven into the tapestry of our family company and reflected in our global partnership with UNICEF to protect, nurture and realise children’s potential.”

Life-saving highlights

Our partnership in Malawi has led to a significant reduction in the prevalence of Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) in children under 5, reducing it from 4.1% to 1% in four years. Across Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia and Malawi, our health interventions have provided life-saving support to over 115,600 children.

“When we launched our partnership in 2009, we had no idea how far it would take us. Today, after 14 years, eight life-changing programmes, multiple emergency relief initiatives and numerous other achievements, I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished,” said Foundation Executive Director Daniela Picco. “In Côte d’Ivoire, we supported a pioneering programme holistically designed to provide quality education, increase the number of children going to school, improve the standard of living for women, and address environmental challenges caused by plastic waste in the broader community. In addition to matching donations received from cruise guests, we also organise edutainment activities for children on board, raising awareness about UNICEF’s work and children’s needs around the world.

Plastic Waste Goes to School

Since 2019, our support for the "Plastic Waste Goes to School" programme in Côte d'Ivoire has had a lasting impact on local communities. The initiative has trained vulnerable women waste collectors to collect plastic waste, which was then recycled into bricks and used to build eco-friendly modern classrooms. This effort has empowered more than 100 women, providing them with better wages for their work, and built 112 classrooms using plastic bricks made from 616,000 kg of collected plastic waste. It has also enabled nearly 8,000 children to attend school, and 2,815 teachers were trained under the Ministry of Education’s national programme.

Promoting youth employability and engagement through YOMA

Another standard-setting initiative funded by the MSC Foundation in Côte d'Ivoire is the national edition of the global YOMA programme. YOMA and its digital platform have been designed to guide adolescents in acquiring knowledge and skills, thereby improving their employment prospects in green and blue economies. Over 400 young people have been trained in various areas, including business management, job search techniques, financial literacy, and innovations in the blue and green economies. As part of the “Sentiers Verts” competition, five teams of young Ivorians have already developed innovative business ideas, showcasing YOMA’s potential for fostering sustainable development and entrepreneurship.

An ongoing commitment

The MSC Foundation’s unwavering support for UNICEF goes beyond financial donations, encompassing education, community support, emergency relief initiatives and advocacy activities. By developing engaging materials like the KIDS UNITED magazine and the song “I Can Believe: MSC for UNICEF,” the MSC Foundation has played a crucial role in raising awareness of UNICEF's work among millions of MSC Cruises guests. In addition, the Foundation has provided a great window of public visibility in over 20 international events for UNICEF's mission to improve the lives of children around the world.

The Foundation's support for UNICEF emergency response initiatives has been critical in supporting communities affected by natural disasters and the COVID pandemic across the globe, demonstrating the profound and lasting impact of this partnership.  

With both parties committed to the well-being of children around the world, the MSC Foundation and UNICEF look forward to continuing their partnership for many years to come.

You can explore the salient achievements of MSC’s longstanding partnership with UNICEF in the timeline below. 

Marevivo’s Guardian Dolphins programme | MSC Foundation