UNICEF UK Ambassador and actor Ewan McGregor, today pledges his support for UNICEF UK’s new fundraising campaign, “Time to Share”, with the launch of an appeal film urging the UK public to ‘share’ a little of what they have to help UNICEF save the lives of over half a million children currently at risk of starvation in Somalia. The film will be shown online, on TV and in selected cinemas across the UK.

As part of The Time to Share campaign, which was officially launched yesterday, Everything Everywhere (the company running the Orange and T-Mobile brands) will be texting their customers asking them to ‘text to donate’ £5, and to help spread the word about the ‘Children’s Famine’.

McGregor, who has travelled all over the world and seen the work of UNICEF - the world’s leading children’s organisation - hopes to boost funds for their work in Somalia and across the Horn of Africa this week with his filmed message that can be viewed at www.unicef.org.uk and on TV.

In the appeal message to be shown in cinemas across the UK, McGregor said:

“Hello there. Before the film starts I’d really like your help. Before you switch it off, it would be great if you could take out your phone. Right now 250 children are dying in Somalia every day. That’s one little girl or boy dead every six minutes.”

“This is a famine. And children are dying. They desperately need life-saving food and water. And they need it now. It’s simple. They’re hungry. We can help. It’s time to share.

“Just five pounds will feed a malnourished child for a week. So please text to help save a life “

Following the worst drought for 50 years, the clock is now ticking for weak and starving children across East Africa. Of the £190 million that UNICEF needs to help children over the next six months, they have received only 40%. UNICEF is the biggest provider of life-saving food for children in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti but needs more funds urgently to reach children in the worst affected regions as quickly as possible to prevent more children from dying.

Ewan continued: “When you’ve donated, share the story with your friends. Because the more of us that share, the more lives we can save. Thanks for listening. And thanks for sharing.”

To help children in East Africa please text SHARE to 78866. The more people share, the more children UNICEF can reach. UNICEF UK is not part of the Disasters Emergency Committee and receives no money from the UN budget. It relies entirely on voluntary donations.

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For further information please contact:
Liz Jones, UNICEF UK, on 020 7375 6096 or lizj@unicef.org.uk or call the UNICEF UK press office on 020 7375 6030


NOTE TO EDITOR

UNICEF has been operating across Somalia since 1971.  We have never been banned and never stopped working in the South.  We are the largest supplier of therapeutic and supplementary nutrition in the country. Despite the challenges to a country torn apart by conflict, insecurity and poverty, UNICEF and its partners, is delivering for children.  In the South, we operate through a network of 70 non-government partners and deploy third party monitors to ensure that supplies reach children


About UNICEF

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights in more than 190 countries. As champion of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF works to help every child realise their full potential. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org.uk