UAE fights coronavirus: '10 million meals' drive concludes with over 15 million meals within a month
Dubai - The UAE's biggest food distribution drive draws massive donations to support Covid-19-hit communities in Ramadan.
UAE's '10 million meals' campaign concluded after drawing overwhelming donations that secured over 15 million meals for Covid-19-hit communities in the country in less than a month.
Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank, said the '10 million meals' campaign has presented a practical humanitarian response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The UAE's biggest food distribution drive, she noted, opened new horizons of humanitarian work in the UAE society by bringing everyone together to support the vulnerable against the global pandemic.
The campaign, overseen by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, drew donations from 110,000 individuals and companies of 115 nationalities to provide over 15 million meals and food parcels to people in need. With the help of over 1,000 volunteers, 6.5 million meals have so far been distributed across the country.
Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum said, "the '10 million meals' campaign reflects the UAE's commitment to providing necessary resources that ensure a decent life for all at times of crisis."
She added, "The global pandemic has affected everyone across the world. In the UAE, we are keen to overcome this crisis together, without leaving anyone in need."
She praised the massive response of individuals and companies to the '10 million meals' campaign that exceeded its target within only the first week of its launch, drawing even more donations throughout.
"The overwhelming response that continued, even after the campaign had exceeded its target within the first week, indicates the powerful solidarity of the UAE society."
Commending corporate donations, Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum said, "The impactful contributions of public and private entities and the humanitarian sector fulfill corporate social responsibility through providing food support for low-income individuals and families most affected by the pandemic."
She stressed that the contributions of citizens and residents from over 115 nationalities capture the core fabric of the UAE's diverse society that is based on tolerance and coexistence.
Sheikh Mohammed had announced the launch of the '10 million meals' campaign earlier in April to provide food support for communities hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic that left many facing unemployment and income reduction.
Online donations secured 1.4 million meals, while SMS donations helped provide 771,535 meals. In-kind donations made through the campaign's call center amounted to 726,392 meals.
While companies and prominent entrepreneurs pledged 5.7 million meals, collective donations of humanitarian and charity organizations helped secure 6.8 million meals.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment took the lead by donating Dh20million at the beginning of Ramadan, later followed by an additional Dh9 million to collectively secure 3.62 million meals with the total Dh29 million donation.
Under the supervision of MBRGI and the Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, meals and food parcels are delivered in a logistical distribution network developed in collaboration with partnering entities to ensure swift and efficient delivery of food to beneficiaries across the country. The campaign's different teams were assigned different roles in food catering, sterilization, packaging, loading and transport, leading up to the nationwide distribution.
The UAE Food Bank, MBRCH, and UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE) are executing the '10 million meals' campaign in collaboration with ministries, federal and local entities and humanitarian and charitable organizations in the UAE.
The World's Tallest Donation Box
Later in Ramadan, the MBRGI launched the World's Tallest Donation Box in collaboration with Burj Khalifa. The unique initiative enabled people to buy Burj Khalifa lights with as a little as Dh10 each to help provide meals. Every light purchased for Dh10 on www.tallestdonationbox.com provided a meal for someone in need.
The donations lit one pixel at a time, illuminating Burj Khalifa's 1.2 million lights in less than a week in a message of hope and solidarity to the world amid the global pandemic. The initiative alone secured 1.2 million meals for the '10 million meals' campaign.
The World's Tallest Donation Box went viral on social media with thousands of users encouraging each other to donate. The initiative also attracted widespread local and international media coverage with over 150 TV and print reports.
In-kind contributions to the '10 million meals' campaign transcended the average food supplies and items, attracting tonnes of fruits like bananas, apples and dates,
millions of water bottles, ice cream, juice packs, and frozen chicken.
Fast food chains also provided meal vouchers. The unique donations helped provide nutritious meals and enriched the diversity of food provided.
Over 1,000 volunteers, aged between 18 and 53, have so far participated in the '10 million meals' campaign, taking up different tasks from responding to calls, distributing meals on field and following up with beneficiaries. The volunteers joined through the five platforms of Dubai Municipality, 'Your City Needs You' initiative, volunteers.ae, Community Development Authority (CDA) and Hope Makers Development Programme.