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Michael Douglas was in Dubai over the weekend to support a donation for disadvantaged children made by local property giant Nakheel.

The 64-year-old was joined by his wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, to recieve the funds on behalf of international charity group Free The Children (FTC).

The money will be utilized in various FTC projects to make clean water more accessible to an estimated 200,000 people in Kenya and Sri Lanka. 5,000 children die every day around the world from water-borne diseases, and over 1 billion people – 20 per cent of the world’s population – do not have access to drinking water. A percentage of the money will be used to sponsor 40 Dubai-based children to carry out volunteer work in third world countries.

“This is not fair for any child,” said Douglas, a UN Messenger of Peace. “Together, we can stop water disease in its tracks. We’re not just giving them money – we’re giving them hope. Water is the lifeblood of communities. If children won’t have to take long walks to collect water, they can go to school.”

The FTC was founded in 1995 by Craig Kielburger, a Canadian child rights activist who was only 12-years-old at the time. The organization has gone on to build over 500 schools worldwide.

“Nakheel’s extraordinary generosity will inspire young people in Dubai and transform the lives of thousands of families,” said Kielburger.

“Many of us take access to clean and safe water for granted,” added Manal Shaheen, Nakheel’s Director of Sales, Marketing and Customer Services. “We’re very pleased to be partnering with Free the Children to help make this a reality for people living in harsh environments in the third world.”

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