The Stelios Philanthropic Foundation on Monday announced a donation of €750,000 to Unicef for humanitarian support of children in Gaza.

The organisation said the donation, under its “Food from the Heart” programme, would treat 15,000 malnourished children for one month with ready-to-use therapeutic-food (RUTF), a life saving supply item that treats severe wasting in children under five years old.

The donation to Unicef for food aid to children in Gaza is an expansion of a programme started during the 2013 financial crisis and operated since then by the foundation in Greece and Cyprus, providing food to tens of thousands of people.

In a statement announcing the donation, Sir Stelios said he saw parallels between his foundation’s and Unicef’s work and that Gaza is geographically very close to Cyprus.

“When we started discussing with Unicef how we could provide support to the children in Gaza, which is geographically very close to my parents’ birthplace of Cyprus, I immediately realised the parallel between Unicef’s aid programmes to malnourished children in war zones around the world [and] our own programme, ‘Food from the Heart’, in Greece and Cyprus,” Stelios said.

“Unicef uses simple, established methods to detect malnutrition in children by measuring the circumference of the upper arm. Then, if they are found to be malnourished, the children receive therapeutic food in special sachets until they get better. I am happy that my donation can help cure 15,000 innocent children suffering from malnutrition for a month,” he said.

Jon Sparkes, executive director for Unicef UK noted that the Stelios Foundation donation comes at a time comes at a time when nearly 8,000 children under the age of two in Gaza are suffering from severe malnutrition and provides significant financial support for Unicef’s mission to treat 15,000 children.

“Compared to adults, children are particularly vulnerable to the devastating effects of war,” he noted.

Since 2011, Sir Stelios and his company easyGroup Ltd have allocated over €84,000,000 to his foundation of the same name.

More information on the work of the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation can be found here. For information about Unicef’s work in Gaza visit here.