NEW YORK, Nov. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Basketball Association (NBA) and National Basketball Player's Association (NBPA) today have teamed up to donate $250,000 to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF in support of UNICEF's emergency relief efforts in areas of the Philippines ravaged by Super Typhoon Haiyan. The latest estimates indicate that as many as four million children could now be affected by the disaster, and the donation will aid UNICEF in providing children and families with immediate necessities including food, water, and medicine.
"We are incredibly grateful to the NBA and NBPA for their generosity and commitment to helping UNICEF save children's lives," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "When a natural disaster strikes, the need to rush supplies to those affected is critical, and both the NBA and NBPA have consistently sprung to action to support UNICEF's emergency relief efforts for more than 10 years."
The NBA Family is also assisting UNICEF in raising awareness of the urgent support needed for children and families in the Philippines. Miami HEAT Coach Erik Spoelstra will appear in a U.S. Fund for UNICEF Public Service Announcement to help raise funds for relief efforts.
In July, 2009, Spoelstra embarked on what would be the first of four trips back to his native Philippines. In each of these trips, he has hosted basketball and coaches clinics, promoted the importance of education, healthy living and wellness, while being able to reach close to 10,000 underprivileged youth through these efforts. In 2011, the nine-day program in Manila was the largest NBA FIT event ever hosted in Southeast Asia under the NBA Cares umbrella. During the summer of 2012, Spoelstra expanded this program to include the country of Singapore.Children who escaped Haiyan still need urgent assistance to survive in the aftermath of the storm. Health is an urgent priority due to the impact of the typhoon on water supplies and sanitation systems. Children also need safe and protected spaces to be able to play and continue their education while adults work to recover their homes and livelihoods.