UNDP Match Against Poverty in Athens raises over US$500,000 for Haiti, Pakistan

13 December 2010

Athens/Geneva (UNDP) – December’s Match Against Poverty raised US$540,000 for ongoing recovery efforts in Haiti and Pakistan, and for disadvantaged communities in Greece, Olympiacos Football Club of Athens and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) announced today.

The announcement was made after all proceeds from ticket sales, broadcast rights, sponsorships and direct donations from the 14 December event were received, costs deducted and the total audited. More than 33,000 fans filled the Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus to watch top players reach a 2-2 draw.

“We are delighted by the overwhelming support for the people of Haiti and Pakistan,” said UNDP Administrator Helen Clark. “We are proud that UNDP’s 8th Match Against Poverty provides the opportunity for the public to participate in the recovery of countries devastated by horrific disasters.  Partnerships like these help the fight against poverty and exclusion.”

Seventy percent of total proceeds will be donated to Haiti and Pakistan, with 30 percent donated to Argo, the Navy Union for parents of children with special needs, as well as to homeless and disadvantaged communities in Piraeus.

“Greek spectators became the real players in this Match,” said Olympiacos President Evangelos Marinakis. “Despite the economic crisis in Greece, the spectators filled the stadium in solidarity with the poor.”

For the past eight years, the match has been supported by the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Its aim is to raise awareness and funds for global poverty-reduction efforts.  Each match takes place in a different city. 

“Every time we get together for this match we can help and make a difference,” said UNDP Goodwill Ambassador Zinédine Zidane.

“It is important that we reach out in solidarity with those affected by extreme poverty,” echoed UNDP Ambassador and team mate Ronaldo.  “We are very happy with the results of this edition, and we look forward to hearing about the results from the projects in Pakistan and Haiti that will benefit.”