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Unicef praises David Beckham following reports about his charity work

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 7: 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.

A spokesman for Beckham said: "This story is based on outdated material taken out of context from hacked and doctored private emails from a third-party server and gives a deliberately inaccurate picture.

"David Beckham and UNICEF have had a powerful partnership in support of children for over 15 years. The David Beckham 7 Fund specifically has raised millions of pounds and helped millions of vulnerable children around the world. David Beckham has given significant time and energy and has made personal financial donations to the 7 Fund and this commitment will continue long-term.

"Before establishing the 7 Fund, David had supported UNICEF and a number of other charities over many years, including donating his entire earnings from PSG during his time playing there.

"David and UNICEF are rightly proud of what they have and will continue to achieve together and are happy to let the facts speak for themselves."

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