UAE distributes 106 million meals in four months

Team KT/Dubai
Filed on August 24, 2021
Supplied photo

Smart technologies are being used to ensure that the food parcels reach the most needy communities in 30 countries.

In just four months, the UAE distributed 106 million meals to underprivileged families and individuals around the world, reaching nearly half of its 216-million target.

The country’s 100 Million Meals campaign — the largest of its kind in the region — has been bringing joy and relief across 30 countries after raising Dh216 million worth of donations during the holy month of Ramadan.

To make sure the food parcels reach the most needy communities, smart technologies are being used. Blockchain technology and big data solutions will continue to be utilised as the drive moves towards delivering 110 million more meals.

“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,” said Sara Al Nuaimi, director of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the campaign’s organiser.

“With the contributions of its members, institutions, charitable societies, and the business community, the UAE drew the most wonderful image of humanity.”

Food aid reached families and communities 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, Lebanon is set to receive 19.5 million additional meals; Sudan will receive some 5.7 million extra meals; Ghana 2.1 million meals; Uganda and Angola will each have 1.5 million additional meals.

The MBRGI has been working 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. These organisations also cooperated with local humanitarian agencies on logistical and food parcel delivery operations.

The 100 Million Meals campaign comes as a ray of hope as Covid-19 crippled the world economy and placed whole communities on the brink of starvation, said Mageed Yahia, WFP director in the UAE and representative to the GCC.

With the drive, the WFP was able to continue supporting around 399,000 refugees and beneficiaries in Bangladesh, Jordan, and Palestine by securing more than 39 million nutritious meals.

The FBRN has handled the distribution in 13 out of the 43 countries where it operates, providing more than 61 million meals to 806,000 beneficiaries, said the network’s co-founder Said Moez El Shohdi. “The unique campaign helped alleviate hunger and boost people’s social welfare during the global pandemic.”

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