Mobile kitchen, in-app donations: How UAE companies are pitching in to help earthquake victims in Turkey, Syria

Besides pledging millions worth of aid, some firms are supporting licensed fund-raising drives through smart technologies

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Nasreen Abdulla

Published: Sat 11 Feb 2023, 8:45 PM

Last updated: Sat 11 Feb 2023, 10:28 PM

As various UAE charity organisations race to get aid to earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey, private firms in the country are pitching in to do their bit for the cause.

Al Ansari Exchange has announced a donation of $1 million (Dh3.67 million) to aid relief and humanitarian initiatives for victims in Syria. The aid, which will be channelled through official humanitarian organisations, will aim to provide support — including food, medical equipment, shelters and other essentials — to the areas and communities most affected by the tragedy.

UAE-based Turkish chefs Burak and Nusret, commonly known as Salt Bae, have been providing relief to harshly hit areas in their home country. Burak Özdemir, the owner of CZN Burak, had posted on his Instagram about supplies that have been transported to various regions, including Hatay.

Salt Bae has started operating mobile kitchens in various parts of the country to provide people with hot food.

“We are starting to serve hot food, I know this is important because I lived in a tent for a year and a half during the 1999 Golcuk earthquake,” he posted on his Instagram along with videos of the preparations that went into operating the food truck.

Several local companies have also begun facilitating donations that are channelled through licensed entities. Technology development group Astratech, the platform of Botim, is providing its users a chance to donate to the relief fund.

The initiative will enable Botim users across the UAE to use the app and help support devastated communities. They will be directed to the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) page from the banner on the BOTIM Explore page, where they can select any donation amount and pay it directly to ERC.

Donations via food delivery apps

Delivery platform Deliveroo is joining the ERC’s ‘Bridges of Giving’ campaign to help raise funds for the cause. Starting February 12, over the course of 2 weeks, customers can round up their total bill or donate any amount of their choice through the company’s in-app feature.

Deliveroo UAE will be matching the total funds raised on the app and will also make a corporate donation. In addition, the company is encouraging its employees to take part in volunteering activities organised by the ERC, in collaboration with charitable and humanitarian organisations.

Another delivery firm talabat will also be helping raise in-app donations between February 11 and 25 to support the relief efforts of ERC. Customers can donate to the company’s charity partner through the talabat app.

From sports to healthcare

Mubadala Investment Company has announced that it will donate this weekend’s proceeds from the inaugural Mubadala Abu Dhabi Open women’s tennis tournament to the ERC campaign.

Healthcare company Burjeel Holdings has confirmed that they are working closely with government agencies. “We have identified the medics in the group who are willing to volunteer. Doctors, emergency medicine specialists, nurses, and paramedics are all included. We will deploy them in the affected areas based on the authorities’ requirements. The shortlisted personnel have sufficient experience in dealing with emergency situations and have received adequate training as part of our previous initiatives to serve areas affected by natural calamities,” said a spokesperson for the group.


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