Just a week after the launch of the UAE's 100 million meals campaign on April 11, the country has proudly announced its achievement of 78 per cent of its target.
With the Covid pandemic crippling most economies, the project, announced by UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, aims to bring more than 100 million food parcels into the hands of the deserving to hold together those living in Emirati soil as well as people living in crisis in 20 countries across the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Beneficiaries include those severely affected by the pandemic, low-incomed workers, unemployed and underprivileged individuals and families in Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Sierra Leone, Senegal, Ghana, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Uganda, Palestine, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Angola. Those eligible are categorised based on accurate databases, a statement released by the Dubai Media Office said.
The initiative is being organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with the UN World Food Programme (WFP) as well as the Food Banking Regional Network and with several other social-work networks such as the Dubai's Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment. The WFP will coordinate to deliver 20 per cent of the campaign's food parcels to refugee camps in Palestine, Jordan, and Bangladesh, while the Food Banking Regional Network is securing food parcels across 13 of the targeted 20 countries, the statement added.
The campaign is being organised as part of the UAE's response to global efforts to combat world hunger as the outbreak of the pandemic has plunged millions of the world into greater insecurity, poverty and unemployment. It also aims to help the international community achieve the second goal of the UN's 17 sustainable development goals, which is 'Zero Hunger' by 2030.
"Within few hours flight from the UAE, there are 52 million people who are hungry. In the world, every 10 seconds, a child dies because of hunger. We, here in the UAE, are blessed and privileged. It's time to five a hand to people in need outside the courtly through this campaign," said Sara Al-Nuaimi, director of MBRGI, to Gulf News, adding that anyone in the UAE can donate the cost of basic food starting from Dh1. This year's '100 million meals' campaign is the expansion of the '10 million meals' campaign held in the UAE last Ramadan.