Today, Dave “Phoenix” Farrell, a member of the two-time Grammy winning, multiplatinum band Linkin Park, returned from a trip to Haiti with the United Nations Foundation to see firsthand how the United Nations is helping Haiti rebuild, fifteen months after a major earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and destroyed much of the nation’s infrastructure. Among the many hardships facing Haitian women is the threat of sexual violence and intimidation. While in Haiti, Phoenix met with UN staff and Haitians to learn how something as simple as solar street lights are protecting women and children from violence at night in the camps, and how their charity Music for Relief has already helped to protect thousands.
“Haiti may have fallen from the headlines, but the country still needs our help,” says Linkin Park’s bassist Phoenix. “We can’t forget about the suffering that is still going on in Haiti. After meeting UN staff and Haitian families, I urge all of our fans to donate through Music For Relief’s Download to Donate for Haiti. It is an easy way for fans to stay engaged and together we can help the UN light the future for Haiti’s women and girls.”
“The UN and its partners, including the U.S. government, have helped Haitians make significant progress and we can be proud of the work the UN has done,” said UN Foundation Vice President for Public Policy and Better World Campaign Executive Director Peter Yeo, who accompanied Phoenix on the trip. “This trip reminded me how important it is to keep Haiti’s women and girls at the top of the international agenda. Something as simple as a lighted pathway can make a huge difference for a woman trying to survive the night without fear of violence. We all have a role to play in helping the UN help Haiti and everyone can make a difference.”
Over the past months, 200 cost-efficient, environmentally friendly and durable LED streetlights have been installed by the UN’s Population Fund with the guidance of Haitian women. The lamps, provided with support from the UN Foundation, Music for Relief, and USAID, are already leading to a reduction of violent incidents. In addition, regular patrols by the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) and the Haitian police are helping to reign in crime.
Music fans are encouraged to Download to Donate (or text “RELIEF” to 41010) and make a $10 donation as part of Linkin Park’s charity Music for Relief. In return, supporters gain access to a digital album featuring unreleased tracks by a growing number of artists, including Alanis Morissette, Glitch Mob, Crystal Method, Slash, and the original song by Linkin Park, Not Alone. Since its inauguration in 2005, the charity has raised more than $3.9 million for victims of natural disasters around the world, including Hurricane Katrina, monsoon flooding in Pakistan, and the tsunami in Japan. Since the earthquake, Download to Donate for Haiti has raised more than $270,000 supporting the work of five organizations in Haiti including the UN Foundation.
To date, the UN Foundation has raised nearly $4 million benefiting the UN’s relief efforts in Haiti. The funds were granted to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) to help provide food, medicine, water and shelter following the earthquake; to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for the Cash for Work Program, an initiative to offer Haitians temporary jobs to remove rubble; and to the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) to rebuild obstetric and reproductive health clinics, distribute maternal health kits, and provide solar street lights to keep women safe at night. Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to the solar lights, the UN Foundation has decided to make that initiative the focus of its participation in Download to Donate. On the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, the UN Foundation hosted a Facebook Town Hall featuring Linkin Park band members and the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to keep the public engaged in rebuilding Haiti. For more information, please visit www.unfoundation.org/haiti.
About the United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes. These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.
About Music for Relief
Founded by two-time Grammy winning/multiplatinum rock band Linkin Park, Music for Relief is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing aid to victims of natural disasters and the prevention of such disasters. Since its inception in 2005, Music for Relief has raised over $3.9 million for victims of multiple disasters across four continents including the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, hurricanes Katrina and Rita, wildfires in Southern California & Victoria Australia, Chinas Wenchuan earthquake, and a cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. Music for Relief also supports environmental programs to help in prevention and mitigation of future natural disasters such as the Send Dirt campaign for wetlands protection and restoration and the Million Tree Project in Chinas Inner Mongolia Desert. MFR has organized a benefit concert featuring multiplatinum artists, sent musicians and volunteers to Southeast Asia and the U.S. Gulf Coast to help rebuild and donate supplies to people in need, and planted over 810,000 trees to help reduce global warming. For more information, visit www.musicforrelief.org.