UNICEF programme with continuous MSC support transforms almost 70,000 young lives 

Focus area: Community support


In 2019 alone, the programme distributed 2.25 million sachets of Ready to Use Therapeutic Food, 18,000 tins of “Starter Diet” milk, 4,800 tins of “Catch-Up Diet” milk and 1,200 tins of rehydration solution to treat 16,479 children under five suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition. Between 2016 and May 2020, it treated a total of approximately 68,000 children, saving many thousands of lives and building the health for these children to fulfil their potential. Largely thanks to this impact, the prevalence of Severe Acute Malnutrition in children under 5 in Malawi was reduced from 4.1% in 2016 to 1% in 2019.

Bettina Junker, Executive Director of UNICEF Switzerland, commented: “On behalf of the most vulnerable children of Malawi, UNICEF Switzerland would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the MSC Foundation, the Aponte family and MSC Cruises’ employees and on-board guests for this valuable contribution to reducing child morbidity and mortality from severe acute malnutrition.”

Daniela Picco, Executive Director of the MSC Foundation, observed: “This tremendous achievement highlights the strengths of integrated programme design and continuity of support. It would not have been possible without the generous donations of the guests on board MSC Cruises ships who supported the multiyear “Get on board for children” fundraising campaign.”

Every child deserves the best start in life and that can only be built on sound nutrition. UNICEF and MSC Foundation joined forces to help provide that in Malawi, just as they have done in Ethiopia, South Sudan and Somalia, impacting the lives of more than 113,000 children and their families since 2013.