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Friday 21 July 2017

UNICEF defends David Beckham following negative reports about his charity work

The former Real Madrid star had his personal emails released by hackers

Unicef Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham (Unicef/PA)
Unicef Goodwill Ambassador David Beckham (Unicef/PA)

Ryan Wilkinson

Unicef has said it is "extremely proud" of its work with David Beckham following negative reports about its star ambassador's alleged private correspondence.

The charity praised the former England football captain for his efforts in raising awareness and funds for its causes and personally donating "significant" sums.

Beckham was made a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador in 2005 and has appeared in several public campaigns for the charity.

His charitable fund has also carried out projects in Burkina Faso, Swaziland, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia to tackle issues including poor water and sanitation, malnutrition and HIV infection in mothers and children.

Unicef said: "As well as generously giving his time, energy and support to help raise awareness and funds for Unicef's work for children, David has given significant funds personally."

The charity said his charitable fund has raised millions of pounds since it was launched to mark the star's 10th year as an ambassador.

And in June 2016 Beckham visited Swaziland to raise awareness of the drought affecting eastern and southern Africa.

"We are extremely proud of the 7 Fund and all it has achieved for children," the charity said.

"Since it launched in February 2015 it has raised millions of pounds for Unicef programmes and reached millions of people around the world with crucial messages about our work for very vulnerable children."

Several British and European news outlets reported they have seen emails sent by Beckham and his staff concerning his charity work.

A representative for the star told The Sun that information in the reports had been "stolen and hacked", while Unicef said it has not seen the emails and could not comment on them.

"Unicef has become aware of media reports relating to the David Beckham Fund for Unicef," the charity said.

"Some reports relate to alleged private correspondence between our ambassador and other parties, which we have not seen and cannot comment upon."

Unicef said it worked closely with high profile personalities "in good faith" to raise money and advocate improving the lives of children in danger around the world.

Its ambassadors, who include Serena Williams, Orlando Bloom and Cate Blanchett, "support Unicef in a voluntary capacity, receiving no fee for their time and commitment," the charity said.

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