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Americans Rally to Help the UN Give Urgent Aid to Victims of Unrest in Cote d’Ivoire
Washington, DC | May 10, 2011
Thousands of Americans are ensuring a healthier future for more than 70,000 refugees from Cote d’Ivoire who have been pushed by violence into neighboring Liberia. Today, the United Nations Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign announced that, thanks to donations from across the United States, the grassroots campaign has reached its goal of sending life-saving, anti-malaria bed nets to protect families in the refugee camp run by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
Malaria, a disease spread by a single mosquito bite, is the leading cause of death among refugees. Sleeping under long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets can prevent the spread of malaria by up to 90 percent. Thousands of supporters from across the country helped raise $350,000 to send nets, responding to an emergency call to protect the many thousands of families who left their homes and belongings to seek safety in refugee camps in Liberia. The goal was reached in one month, with the help of a $50,000 donation from the Union for Reform Judaism, a long-time partner of the Nothing But Nets campaign.
"We are thrilled to have reached the goal of sending bed nets to protect Ivoirian families in the UN refugee camp in Liberia so quickly," said Elizabeth Gore, the UN Foundation’s Executive Director of Global Partnerships. "In honor of World Malaria Day, Nothing But Nets’ partners and thousands of supporters came together to help their peers across the globe -- we are truly moved by their enthusiasm and generosity."
"UNHCR has been working against the clock to provide food, water, and shelter to the refugees in Liberia," said Greg Millar, UNHCR fundraising officer. "Due to immediate funding constraints, it is difficult to provide bed nets to keep the families safe from malaria. We are very grateful to Nothing But Nets supporters for helping us fill this need within weeks; these nets will help save lives in Liberia."
Violence in Cote d’Ivoire has pushed 70,000 refugees -- and counting -- into neighboring Liberia. In Africa, every 45 seconds, a child dies from malaria, which is easily prevented through the use of an insecticide-treated net. The nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur, and are the most cost-effective method of preventing the spread of the disease. A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and to educate the recipient on its proper use.
Bed nets work: according to The World Health Organization, enough bed nets have been delivered to cover 76 percent of the 765 million people at risk for malaria, and in three years, 11 African countries have cut malaria rates in half.
To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $35 million to distribute more than 4 million nets to families throughout Africa. For more information, please visit www.NothingButNets.net.
About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by sports columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
The UN Refugee Agency (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. In more than six decades, the agency has helped tens of millions of people restart their lives. Today, a staff of some 7,190 people in more than 120 countries continues to help some 36.4 million persons who have been forced to flee their homes because of war and persecution. On the front lines of the world’s most dramatic situations, UNHCR is one of only two organizations to have been awarded the Nobel Peace prize on two occasions. In Liberia today, UNHCR is responding to the needs of more than 165,000 refugees from Cote d’Ivoire.