Ban Ki-moon, Shaquille O’Neal, Belgian Princess Celebrate World Malaria Day, Call for Aid to Refugees in South Sudan
New York, NY | April 23, 2012
In observance of World Malaria Day, the United Nation Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria, and Variety held a reception at the UN Headquarters to discuss ongoing efforts to eliminate this deadly disease. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the UN; HRH Princess Astrid of Belgium, Special Representative to the Roll Back Malaria Partnership; and NBA Legend Shaquille O’Neal came together to show their support for the fight to end malaria worldwide.
“To reach the Secretary General's goal of near-zero deaths from malaria by 2015, we must intensify our efforts like never before,” said Mr. Ray Chambers, UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria in a statement for World Malaria Day. “We desperately need to raise more than $3 billion to sustain the life-saving and cost-effective interventions that have already produced such dramatic results. Despite the significant reduction in deaths from malaria, one precious child still dies from malaria every minute. We've reached the point where it should be unacceptable to world leaders for any child to die from malaria.”
Since last June, more than 130,000 refugees—and counting—have fled to South Sudan and neighboring countries to escape fighting in the region. As the situation worsens, the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing food, water, and shelter. Living in a country where malaria is the leading cause of death among children under five, the refugee families in South Sudan need another life-saving tool: insecticide-treated bed nets.
To meet this need, the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign has launched a nationwide appeal to send 100,000 life-saving bed nets to help these families sleep safely. Broadway shows in Nederlander theaters across the U.S. are helping collect donations to send nets and save lives, including during Wednesday night’s performance of The Lion King at the Minskoff Theatre.
“The refugees of the South Sudan face a multitude of dangers,” says Chris Helfrich, Nothing But Nets Director. “By providing a simple but effective resource like bed nets, we can help make a deadly mosquito bite one less thing to fear when going to sleep at night. Bed nets work, and making a difference is as simple as sending a net, and saving a life.”
“This appeal is as urgent as it is bold, bringing together the Nederlander Organization, the Roll Back Malaria Partnership, and the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Malaria to call on the American people to help end this horrible disease,” says Kathy Calvin, CEO of the UN Foundation. “So many partners working toward the same goal offers hope that, soon, we can end malaria.”
A major partner of Nothing But Nets, The Nederlander Organization is encouraging audiences at many of their theatres across the country to send nets and save lives in South Sudan. Nederlander’s month-long effort kicked off with Fela!, which opened at Broadway In Chicago earlier this month, and Bring It On: The Musical last week in Durham. The program is also being supported at Nederlander presentations in Los Angeles, San Diego, Tucson, and San Jose. “Nothing But Nets enables us to shine our spotlight on an important health issue that everyone in our country needs to be aware of. Audiences from around the world attend our theatres and supporting this initiative is one way we can give back,” says James L. Nederlander, President of The Nederlander Organization.
South Sudan is roughly the size of Texas, and families escaping the fighting are moving into safer zones away from the violence concentrated near the border. More than 130,000 refugees have fled fighting on the border of Sudan and South Sudan since last June; observers expect 75,000 more this year. Malaria is a leading cause of death among refugees and the number one cause of death in South Sudan among children under five. Bed nets are an easy, cost-effective tool to keep families safe.
To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $40 million to distribute more than 6 million insecticide-treated nets to families throughout Africa. To learn more and to donate, 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. Campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, the people of The United Methodist Church, and Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S. 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 builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
Leslie Lake (202) 857-2218
Susannah Rosenblatt (202) 492-5486