Microsoft launches "Click for Cause" initiative to support UNHCR web campaign

UNHCR corporate partner Microsoft launches an initiative to support an Internet-based campaign aimed at promoting sports and education for millions of refugee children around the world. "Click for the Cause" will help raise extra funds for UNHCR's ninemillion.org campaign.

GENEVA, January 17 (UNHCR) - UNHCR corporate partner Microsoft on Wednesday launched an initiative to support an Internet-based campaign aimed at raising funds and promoting sports and education for millions of refugee children around the world.

The computer software giant's "Click for Cause" initiative will support UNHCR's global ninemillion.org campaign, which was launched last World Refugee Day on June 20 with help from Microsoft, Nike and other corporate partners of the refugee agency.

Under the initiative, every Internet search performed at http://click4thecause.live.com using Microsoft's Live Search facility will result in a financial donation to ninemillion.org. The donation programme will be coupled with a broad online awareness campaign for ninemillion.org to include advertising and editorial space on Microsoft online properties, such as MSN and microsoft.com, in 26 markets around the world.

Microsoft has agreed to host the search site until the end of March and to promote it by creating a downloadable "gadget," developing online advertising to appear on the MSN portal websites in certain countries and purchase advertising inventory from the MSN/Live network.

The company will guarantee a minimum donation of US$100,000 to UNHCR based on the number of queries that are generated from the search site. The rate for each query will be US$0.01. The maximum donation payable by Microsoft will be US$250,000, which would be equivalent to 25 million search queries.

"Driving awareness is critical to finding lasting solutions for the millions of refugees and displaced people worldwide," said Nick Van Praag, director of UNHCR's Division of External Relations. "Through Microsoft, utilising the MSN network on behalf of ninemillion.org, we are able to generate consumer awareness that we hope will result in donations to support this important cause, giving hope to refugee youth and children."

Derrick Connell, general manager of Live Search, said executives at Microsoft "feel we have a responsibility to use our resources and influence to make a positive impact on the world and its people. With our millions of visitors to MSN and Live Search each month, we hope to raise awareness of the plight of the nine million refugee children.

"We continue to be impressed with the important work of the UNHCR and ninemillion.org, and are excited for the opportunity to expand our support of a cause that impacts so many around the globe," he added.

ninemillion.org was launched as a new public- and private-sector initiative and an example of how business partners are helping UNHCR give refugees hope for a better future. Two-thirds of the money raised will be distributed by UNHCR to support education in refugee communities.