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"Pavarotti and Friends" concert raises $2 million for UN aid to Afghan refugees

"Pavarotti and Friends" concert raises $2 million for UN aid to Afghan refugees

Luciano Pavarotti
A benefit concert by the world-famous tenor Luciano Pavarotti and other celebrities has helped to raise more than $2 million for Afghan children living in squalid camps in Pakistan, the United Nations refugee agency announced today.

Roughly half of the amount came from ticket sales to the "Pavarotti and Friends" concert. held in Modena, Italy, on 29 May, while the other half was donated by individuals across Italy contributing money to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) during and after the televised concert, the agency said.

Expressing gratitude for the contributions, UNHCR spokesman Kris Janowski said the agency "appreciates this latest demonstration of generosity by the Italian public - traditionally the strongest supporter for UNHCR in terms of private donations."

Opera singer Luciano Pavarotti has been actively working to support UN causes for several years. In 1998, he was named a UN Messenger of Peace by Secretary-General Kofi Annan. Mr. Pavarotti is strongly committed to alleviating the suffering of children in conflict-ravaged countries, and has performed at numerous benefit concerts to help children stricken by war in different parts of the world.