Ramadan in UAE: How 'One Billion Meals' drive hit 25% of its target in under a week

While several companies are pitching in with huge amounts, a top official reminds that every contribution — even those as little as Dh1 — counts

by

Sahim Salim

/

Nandini Sircar

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Wam file photo
Wam file photo

Published: Tue 28 Mar 2023, 5:52 PM

Last updated: Tue 28 Mar 2023, 11:01 PM

Millions in donations have poured in less than a week since the UAE's Ramadan drive 'One Billion Meals' began — and organisers say the campaign has already reached 25 per cent of its target, a 'testament to the generosity of the community'.

The UAE is poised to hit its one billionth meal in record time, said Sara Al Nuaimi, director of Mohammed Bin Rashid Global Initiatives (MBRGI).


“Based on the outcomes of previous food aid drives the UAE has seen since Ramadan 2020 — as well as from the record response this year’s campaign has seen in the first week, with total donations amounting to 25 per cent of its target — we have every reason to believe that the UAE community, known for its values of compassion, solidarity and generosity, will race to contribute to the campaign and help achieve its ambitious objectives," Al Nuaimi told Khaleej Times.

“The fact that the campaign has achieved almost 25 per cent of its target in the first few days is a record we are very proud of, and a testament to the generosity of the UAE community in all its components – individuals, institutions and businesses,” she added.


The 'One Billion Meals Endowment' campaign — launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai — has so far recorded Dh247 million worth of donations, one week after its launch.

“This campaign was launched by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, a role model and a true visionary in charity and humanitarian work. This has definitely motivated the community to participate, especially since the campaign coincided with the month of Ramadan, a time when people are particularly keen to practise values of compassion and solidarity,” she added.

The campaign welcomes contributions of as little as Dh1, the official stressed. "We appreciate the contribution of everyone willing to make a difference and extend help to those in need.”

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Every contribution to the campaign helps achieve its objectives and provide food support for underprivileged populations, Al Nuaimi said.

“It is true that some businesses and businessmen have contributed large sums, but individuals’ contributions are just as important and, together, they make a huge impact.”

Donation channels

The campaign so far has received donations from 13,220 major contributors, individuals, businesses, and public and private sector players.

Contributions to the fund fall under the ‘sadaqah’ category, since the campaign aims to establish an endowment fund, “endowments are by their nature an ongoing charity,” Al Nuaimi explained.

She pointed out that the campaign also contributes to the worldwide endeavour to wipe out hunger in line with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“This campaign is an extension of a series of food aid campaigns launched over the past few years, all of which reached or exceeded their targets thanks to the generous contributions from members of the UAE community. Moreover, the UAE has established itself as a force of good and aid in cases of natural disasters and crises and is a key contributor to the global effort to fight and eradicate hunger around the world.”

The campaign has opened various channels that allow everyone to donate with just a few taps and clicks. In fact, 13,195 contributors donated via these smart channels.

“In addition to the traditional channels of donating via bank transfers, SMS and call centre, the campaign accepts donations online through its website (www.1BillionMeals.ae), and also through the DubaiNow app. Moreover, a number of food delivery companies are collaborating with the campaign to allow donations through their smart apps, where users can simply donate the value of meals towards the campaign,” Al Nuaimi said.

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