NEW YORK, March 4 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Bill Clinton join today with international recording artists will.i.am and David Guetta, South African singer Yvonne Chaka Chaka, and director Spike Lee, to launch MASSIVEGOOD, an innovative fundraising movement that will enable travelers to make a "micro-contribution" towards major global health causes every time they buy a plane ticket, reserve a hotel room or rent a car.
Leisure travelers in the United States will be able to "click" on MASSIVEGOOD on commercial travel websites like Travelocity and Accor Hotels and through travel agents, and contribute $2 to fighting HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and to improving the dismal state of maternal and child health in the developing world.
Created by the Millennium Foundation, with the support of the global travel and tourism industry, MASSIVEGOOD has the potential to raise millions more for global health. Funds will be distributed to UNITAID, an innovative funding mechanism for the purchase of drugs that has already saved millions of lives by lowering the price and increasing the availability of key treatments in poor countries -- and will be dispersed to partners, including the Clinton Health Access Initiative.
"When we look at the incredible response to the crisis in Haiti, we see how much people are willing to help. All they need is a simple way to give, and a way to know they are truly helping," stated Dr. Philippe Douste-Blazy, Chairman of the Millennium Foundation and of UNITAID, Special Advisor for Innovative Finance for Development to the United Nations Secretary-General.
"Building on the success of UNITAID's levy on French airline travel which supported the efforts of my Foundation to initiate hundreds of thousands of children on lifesaving HIV/AIDS treatment, MASSIVEGOOD empowers individuals to give small amounts to make a big difference in solving global health crises," President Clinton said. "I'm proud to be a part of its launch today, and I am hopeful that this model of philanthropy will serve as an example of what other industries can do to improve lives around the world."
MASSIVEGOOD is designed to mobilize new sources of innovative funding to achieve the three health-related Millennium Development Goals agreed to by the UN in 2000: to treat and fight life-threatening diseases, including HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; to reduce childhood mortality; and to improve maternal health.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Bill Clinton, founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation joined Thursday Raymond Chambers, UN Special Envoy for Malaria, Michel Sidibe, Executive Director of UNAIDS, Her Royal Highness Princess Cristina of Spain, First Lady of Namibia Penehupifo Pohamba, Andrey Pirigov, Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization, Graeme Wheeler, World Bank Managing Director, and other leaders in innovative finance, non-governmental organizations, the travel industry and the private sector at the United Nations to officially launch the initiative MASSIVEGOOD by making the first click
"MASSIVEGOOD will save millions of lives by turning good intentions into good actions," said Ray Chambers, the UN Special Envoy for Malaria. "Translating a few dollars into a lifesaving intervention such as a mosquito net has always been compelling, and MASSIVEGOOD's ability forge this link will improve lives immeasurably."
"I'm delighted to support the launch of MASSIVEGOOD today," said Prime Minister Gordon Brown in a statement. "This project will help to save millions of lives and make great improvements to healthcare in the developing world. Along with other world leaders, I supported its development at the health summit at the United Nations General Assembly in New York last September"
In a separate statement, Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said, "we applaud the commitment of the Millennium Foundation to improving the state of maternal heath in developing countries. Over the last years maternal health has taken a back seat to other health priorities MASSIVEGOOD can do for mothers and children just what its name implies."
MASSIVEGOOD is backed by key players in the travel and tourism industry. On September 23, 2009, industry leaders signed a declaration of principles committing their support to the launch of MASSIVEGOOD. Signatories included the World Travel & Tourism Council; Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport, which represent the leading Global Distribution Systems (GDS) managing the world's airline reservation networks; American Express Business Travel and Carlson Wagonlit Travel, as corporate travel management supporters, Voyageurs du Monde as a leisure travel agent supporter, Mondial Assistance, as Call Center partner, and the Global Business Coalition on HIV/Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Since then, Travelocity, Accor Hotels, Delta Airlines, the American Society of Travel Agents, Club Med, the Travel Corporation, BCD Travel, and Europ Assistance Group have pledged their support. Donors can rely on the security of Payment Service Provider (PSP) for MASSIVEGOOD, the Royal Bank of Scotland/Bibit.
SOURCE Millennium Foundation