Life-saving vaccines could be delivered for the cost of an ice cream in the fight to eradicate polio

Next week easyJet will launch its summer Change for Good campaign to raise vital funds to support UNICEF in the global fight against polio, a crippling and potentially fatal disease. 

For the next three months, all passengers travelling with easyJet can donate their spare change and unwanted foreign currency to UNICEF, the world’s leading organisation for children, at a crucial time in the race to eradicate polio globally. 

Every 81p donated – less than the cost of a 99p ice cream - could give three children a lifetime of immunity* from this highly infectious disease that can cause paralysis and even death. 

With over 12million people expected to travel with easyJet over the summer period alone, the airline and its on-board partner UNICEF are urging people to donate as much as possible to help protect and save children’s lives. 

UNICEF UK Executive Director, David Bull said: “Polio is one of the few diseases we believe could be eradicated in our lifetime, but recent outbreaks in polio free countries show that we still have a way to go to protect millions of children in danger. 

“It costs so little to protect a child from this crippling disease, so we’re encouraging all holidaymakers travelling with easyJet this summer to give as much as they can to help UNICEF deliver polio vaccines to the most vulnerable children.” 

Carolyn McCall, easyJet’s Chief Executive said: “Our passengers have given so generously to date, raising more than £3 million in total, and we are sure that our campaign to help UNICEF vaccinate more children against polio will inspire them once again to donate to this really worthy cause.”

Whilst the prevalence of polio has reduced greatly in recent years - from 125 countries infected in 2008 to just three countries today (Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan) - a recent resurgence in seven countries,** including Syria, led the World Health Organisation to declare ‘a public health emergency of international concern’ and start vaccination campaigns across the Middle East aiming to reach at least 23 million children. 

Passengers can donate to the Change for Good summer collection from 1 July until 30 September on the airline’s pan-European network of over 600 routes across more than 30 countries.

The Change for Good partnership between easyJet and UNICEF has raised £3,035,303 million through passenger donations since it launched in July 2012. This has enabled UNICEF to vaccinate 4 million mothers and children against life-threatening diseases in West and Central Africa, as well as help protect 2 million children from polio. easyJet has also supported UNICEF’s emergency appeals in Syria and the Philippines.

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For more information about UNICEF, please contact Helen Wylie helenw@unicef.org.uk 020 7375 6258

For more information about easyJet, please contact the easyJet Press Office on 01582 525252 or press.office@easyjet.com 

*Just 27p could buy three polio vaccines. Three polio vaccines give a child a lifetime of immunity. 

**There are seven countries where polio is facing a resurgence: Syria, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel, Somalia and Cameroon  

About easyJet: easyJet operates Europe's No. 1 air transport network with a leading presence on Europe's top 100 routes and at Europe's 50 largest airports. easyJet flies on more than 600 routes between over 130 airports in over 30 countries. More than 300 million Europeans live within one hour's drive of an easyJet airport, more than any other airline. 

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do.  Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. For more information, please visit www.unicef.org

About UNICEF UK

UNICEF UK (the UK National Committee for UNICEF) raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work and advocates for lasting change for children everywhere. We are a UK registered charity, supported entirely by voluntary donations. We do not receive any money from the UN. For more information, please visit unicef.org.uk

About Change for Good

Change for Good is UNICEF’s global initiative run in partnership with leading airlines all over the world. The airline partners include: American Airlines, Qantas and Cathay Pacific as well as easyJet in the UK. Change for Good globally has raised over £53 million for UNICEF’s work in support of children around the world