As part of a big Ramadan food drive, people in the UAE and around the world may now donate to secure meals for underprivileged populations in 50 countries. On Saturday, the first day of Ramadan, his Majesty Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, formally inaugurated the ‘One Billion Meals’ initiative. The Dubai ruler described the initiative as ‘one billion honourable words from the UAE to the globe’ in a tweet.
‘Ramadan is the fasting month in which we experience the suffering of 800 million people who sleep hungry every day,’ Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid remarked in a tweet. Individuals and businesses from all around the world may contribute as little as Dh1 ($0.27) to provide one meal for the poor. The programme, termed the region’s largest food distribution push, would distribute food packets to low-income families and refugees, resulting in a total of one billion meals.
The campaign, organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), is an extension of the UAE’s earlier ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, which was started during Ramadan last year. It raised more than twice its goal, enabling it to provide food boxes to the poor in 47 nations across four continents, equating to 220 million meals.
In collaboration with the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), and humanitarian organisations in targeted countries, the donated 220 million meals are still being distributed in the form of food parcels across underserved communities and refugee camps.
The ‘One Billion Meals’ effort will continue this year until the remaining 780 million meals are obtained. His Excellency Mohammad Al Gergawi, Secretary General of MBRGI, stated that the campaign is part of the UAE’s efforts to improve the quality of life across the globe, protect humanity, and alleviate suffering in impoverished regions. Innovative humanitarian programmes like One Billion Meals cement the UAE’s position as a significant contributor to worldwide efforts to address humanitarian concerns. In accordance with its wise leadership’s orders, the UAE is pursuing a unique strategy to elevate philanthropic and humanitarian work and has been able to take a qualitative leap in enhancing relief aid.
In a world where 25,000 people die of hunger every day, 10,000 of them children, hunger claims a child’s life every 10 seconds. Over 800 million people worldwide are malnourished, with 52 million of them, mostly women and children, living in the Middle East and North Africa. The organisers stated in a statement that the ‘One Billion Meals’ initiative responds to the worldwide need for continuous humanitarian help to disadvantaged populations throughout the world, supporting efforts to meet the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 2 of ending hunger by 2030.
How to donate:
Every Dh1 provides one meal. Donations to the campaign can be made via four channels:
- > Online on www.1billionmeals.ae
- > A bank transfer to Emirates NBD bank account with IBAN no AE300260001015333439802.
- > SMS by sending the word ‘Meal’ to 1110 for Etisalat or 1020 for Du) to donate Dh1 every day (Dh30/month)
- > Toll free number 8004999 for big donations