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UNICEF: Canadians showed generosity buying 41,922 Survival Gifts for children, totalling more than $1.8 million

2014-12-08

TORONTO, December 9, 2014In a year of unprecedented humanitarian crises with children affected by conflict and health emergencies from West Africa to the Middle East, this holiday season UNICEF is calling on Canadians to continue their generous support of children through the organization’s Survival Gifts program. Last year, Canadians purchased 41,922 life-changing gifts, totaling $1,810,912 to help vulnerable children, with the most popular gift among Canadians being Bed Nets.

“The warm hearts and generosity of the people of Canada made a significant difference in the lives of children around the world. We’re so grateful for the opportunity to provide people with unique and life-saving options for gifts,” says Sharon Avery, UNICEF Canada’s Chief Development Officer. “Canada continues to be a vital supporter of children around the world with every purchase of gifts like Plumpy’Nut, bed nets and school supplies.”

“It’s wonderful to hear from families that sit down with their children and choose education gifts like school books and supplies to give to teachers and mosquito nets or immunizations to give to a family member who works in health care. It’s a great way to teach children about generosity and talk with them about how children live in other parts of the world, while changing the lives of children in need,” says Avery. 

Most popular gifts with Canadians:

  1. Bed Nets—Canadians provided 2,965 packs of bed nets in 2013. For only $9, this gift provides two bed nets that help to protect four children from mosquito bites that cause malaria, one of the leading killers of children under age five.
  2. Plumpy’Nut – These peanut-based, therapeutic food packs boost a malnourished child’s chance of survival. Canadians purchased 2,877 orders of Plumpy’Nut in 2013. Each order is $10 and includes 21 packages of Plumpy’Nut, enough to help save the lives of seven children. This year Maple Leaf Foods is matching every gift of Plumpy’Nut donated by Canadians to save twice as many lives.
  3. Soccer Balls – At $14, each purchase provides two soccer balls to help children in developing countries. Canadians purchased 1,935 which provided 3,870 soccer balls for children. Gifts of sport teach teamwork and help heal the effects of trauma.  

Statistics and gifts that help—for the health care worker on your list:

Malnutrition: 50 per cent of childhood deaths under age five are caused by malnutrition

  • 21 packets of Plumpy’Nut treats seven children with acute malnutrition ($10)
  • A Baby Scale helps 150 babies by preventing malnutrition before it starts ($38)

Malaria: In 2013 alone, malaria killed 450,000 children under the age of five

  • 10 Bed Nets help protect 20 children from deadly mosquito bites ($45)
  • 113 Anti-Malaria Tablets help 19 children avoid the deadly disease ($11)

Water: 1,600 children die every day from unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation

Statistics and gifts that help—for the teacher or student on your list:

Education: 57 million children are not in school, reducing their changes of health and success

Statistics and gifts that help—for the global citizen and activist on your list:

Birth Registration: One in three births is not registered, robbing children of health care, education and protection and putting them at risk of child labour and trafficking

Child Marriage: More than 700 women alive today were married as children and girls remain at great risk

  • The End Child Marriage gift funds community advocacy and improved education for girls ($100)

Child Soldiers: An estimated 300,000 children are engaged in armed conflict around the world

  • Rehabilitate a Child Soldier gift provides social reintegration programs including education, vocational training and psychosocial counseling for a former child soldier ($94)

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About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.