UAE’s largest food aid campaign distributes initial 100 Million Meals worldwide in just four monthsTue 24 Aug 2021
DUBAI: The UAE’s most extensive food aid campaign distributed 106 million meals out of the targeted 216 million to underprivileged families and individuals in just four months.
The 100 Million Meals campaign, the largest of its kind in the region, operates across 30 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe, and South America.
The next phase of the campaign, which utilises blockchain technology and big data solutions to reach communities and individuals most in need, will distribute 110 million additional meals. The total value of the 216 million meal target is the equivalent of AED216 million, the sum that was collected by the campaign during the holy month of Ramadan.
Sara Al Nuaimi, Director at Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), said, “The partnerships and smart technologies that were utilised throughout all the phases of the 100 Million Meals campaign embody the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to help develop innovative humanitarian tools. The campaign was focused on expanding the humanitarian framework to form an integrated and open ecosystem that unites the efforts of different segments of the society to support those in need wherever they are.”
She added, “The 100 Million Meals campaign is an exemplary model of instant response to urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable, reflecting the UAE’s longstanding tradition of humanitarian work. The campaign’s success in distributing the first 100 million meals within just four months highlights the importance of cooperating with regional and international organisations and local charities in beneficiary countries to reach the biggest scope of people. With the contributions of its members, institutions, charitable societies, and the business community, the UAE drew the most wonderful image of humanity.”
Food aid was distributed in the form of food parcels and instant vouchers, which enable beneficiaries to purchase what they need from partner shops and stores.
So far, the campaign has delivered 3 million meals to Lebanon, 3.3 million to Sudan, 6.9 million to Ghana, 3 million to Uganda, and 3 million to Angola. In its next phase, the 100 Million Meals campaign will continue to distribute food aid in several countries – Lebanon is set to receive 19.5 million additional meals; Sudan will receive some 5.7 million extra meals. Ghana will receive another 2.1 million meals; Uganda and Angola will each receive 1.5 million additional meals.
The campaign’s organiser, MBRGI, worked alongside the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), and the Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN) to carry out the campaign swiftly and thoroughly. The organisations involved in the campaign cooperated with local humanitarian and charity organisations on logistical and food parcels delivery operations.
Ibrahim Mohammed Bu Melha, Advisor to the Ruler of Dubai for Cultural and Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Chairman of MBRCH, said, “Since the initial moments of the campaign’s launch, MBRCH formed a project team and established a special operations room. The contributions received in support of the campaign, from individuals and institutions across segments of society, embodies the instilled culture of love for humanitarian, charitable work, and giving rooted in the UAE society.”
For his part, Said Moez El Shohdi, Co-founder of FBRN, said, “The Food Banking Regional Network handled the food aid distribution in 13 out of the 43 countries where it operates, providing more than 61 million meals to 806,000 beneficiaries. The unique campaign helped alleviate hunger and boost people’s social welfare and the economic performance of local markets and suppliers in served areas during the global pandemic.”
Mageed Yahia, WFP Director in the UAE and Representative to the GCC, said, “COVID-19 has crippled the world economy on many fronts and placed particularly vulnerable populations in severe food insecurity and whole communities on the brink of starvation. The timely contribution from MBRGI during these challenging times helped the WFP to continue supporting around 399,000 refugees and beneficiaries in Bangladesh, Jordan, and Palestine by securing more than 39 million nutritious meals.”
The UAE’s embassies and diplomatic missions played a key role in facilitating food aid distribution through cooperation with local authorities in beneficiary countries. The campaign’s organisers said it can be regarded as a future model for how to allocate resources and efforts to provide direct and urgent access to food support.