Dh247 million raised in one week speaks volumes on boundless generosity of UAE people

The campaign aims to distribute 1 billion meals to underprivileged people around the globe during the holy month and beyond


Rasha Abu Baker

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Published: Thu 30 Mar 2023, 8:39 PM

Last updated: Thu 30 Mar 2023, 9:30 PM

In an amazing demonstration of generosity, the UAE’s Ramadan '1 Billion Meals Endowment' campaign has raised an impressive Dh247 million in just one week, staying on target to, as the name suggests, distribute 1 billion meals to underprivileged people all around the globe during the holy month and beyond.

The campaign received donations from 13,220 individuals, businesses as well as public and private sector players and is a wonderful example of the kindness of the people of the UAE who always respond with grace and kindness to requests to aid those in need.

Launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives, the campaign aims to mobilise local and regional support for the launch of a Dh1 billion food endowment fund that will help implement sustainable programmes to fight and eradicate hunger within a sustainable institutional framework.

The campaign also provides individuals, businesses, business people and philanthropists with new ways to donate and make a difference, further promoting a culture of endowment as a traditionally rooted tool of development, and an investment for the future.

This year’s '1 Billion Meals Endowment' campaign builds upon the success of previous food aid campaigns launched under directives of UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, over the past 3 years, starting in Ramadan of 2020 with '10 Million Meals', which was the first and largest show of solidarity of its kind, supporting victims of the Covid-19 pandemic within the UAE. This was followed in 2021 by the '100 Million Meals' campaign, the largest regional food support campaign spanning 20 countries in the Arab region, Africa and Asia. Last year’s 'One Billion Meals' was the largest of its kind regionally, providing 1 billion meals in 50 countries.

It goes without saying that the UAE’s humanitarian efforts are continuous throughout the year and as a nation and its people, jumping to the aid of others and going the extra mile has become part of our way of life.

Also this week, 'Operation Gallant Knight 2' hit day 50 of the UAE’s rescue efforts to help victims of the devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. After the earthquake on February 6, Emirati search and rescue teams were dispatched to search for survivors under the debris of collapsed buildings.

The UAE also provided the Syrian Civil Defence with search and rescue equipment and trained Latakia Civil Defence officers and local military construction corps to form small trained teams in line with the highest standards of search and rescue protocols.

In addition, the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) played a crucial role in distributing food parcels to victims, supplying hospitals with medicines, and establishing a temporary shelter camp for those affected by the earthquake.

The Emirati search and rescue team was the last internationally classified team to leave Turkey after the Turkish government announced the end of search and rescue operations, during which they succeeded in rescuing 10 people and recovered a further 26 bodies, while maintaining the highest standards of safety and security.

When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, and while it was taking aggressive action at home to fight the spread of the virus, the UAE was helping other countries respond to the pandemic. The country delivered critical medical supplies, made UAE-owned facilities located abroad available to local governments, supplied donations to local initiatives, and assisted in the repatriation of foreign nationals, prompting the UN to laud the UAE government for providing medical and protective supplies to African nations during the pandemic. “Thanks to the government of the United Arab Emirates for its generous support of this operation. WHO’s regional logistics hub in Dubai has played a key role in making sure these supplies are prepared and shipped to where they are most needed,” said Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean.

In another recent example, the UAE sent 14 tonnes of relief aid to Ukraine, including blankets and personal care supplies to help people survive the harsh winter, part of the UAE’s ongoing humanitarian assistance to the Ukrainian people amid the ongoing crisis, which includes $100 million assistance to Ukrainian civilians.

These are the stories that help us understand how important humanitarian gestures, which have always been a part of Emirati tradition, really are. Under the guidance of the late Sheikh Zayed, who was recognised around the world as a symbol of love, generosity and tolerance during his lifetime, the UAE’s legacy of giving lives on, personified by the actions of his successor, the late Sheikh Khalifa, and continuing now under the benevolent leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

And these are the stories that I delight in passing on to my children, because they make me proud to be an Emirati. I thank all those who have given their time, effort and financial donations, big or small, for these campaigns, and wish you all Ramadan Kareem.

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