UAE to help distribute millions of meals in Gaza

Dubai - Additional 19 million meals to be distributed as part of 100 Million Meals drive

The UAE’s Ramadan food donation campaign called ‘100 Million Meals’ will see the allocation of an additional 19 million meals to the Gaza Strip in Palestine.

The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) said on Sunday that it has collaborated with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) to facilitate food vouchers to low-income families and individuals. The vouchers will help beneficiaries purchase a variety of nutritious and locally produced food.

The distribution comes in support to vulnerable groups, including those impacted by the recent violence.

The violence displaced thousands in Palestine, including 77,000 who took refuge in UN schools and headquarters, and an additional 40,000, who fled to friends and family homes in the Gaza Strip.

The WFP’s e-vouchers enable beneficiaries to shop from a network of contracted supermarkets in the amounts that sustain their households. They inject “much needed cash into Gaza’s ailing economy, supporting the resilience of small businesses in the face of shocks”, the MBRGI said.

The ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, launched earlier in Ramadan to provide food aid for disadvantaged individuals and families across 30 countries, had already allocated 9 million meals to be distributed in Palestine. Food aid has so far reached beneficiaries in the West Bank.

Sara Al Nuaimi, Director of the MBRGI, said: “Through the 19 million meals, which will be added to the previously allocated 9 million meals to the West Bank, we aim to reach 207,385 people in Gaza with urgent food support over a period of one month.”

“About 70 per cent of families in the Gaza Strip are facing food insecurity, according to WFP figures. The additional food support, provided through the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, is a message of solidarity from the UAE to those most affected by this difficult reality.”

Mageed Yahia, Director of WFP office in the UAE and Representative to the GCC, said: “We value the additional Dh10 million contribution from MBRGI as it comes at a time when food needs have increased significantly in Palestine due to the recent upsurge in conflict.

“This funding will enable WFP to continue providing a much-needed support to food-insecure families, who have been displaced and staying at hosting families, and many others whose homes and livelihoods have been affected, without which they have nothing to feed their children.”

Food access in Palestine

High poverty and unemployment rates in Palestine hinder families and individuals from accessing food made available in markets. Of the total five million population, two million people – 1.4 million in Gaza and 600,000 in the West Bank - are estimated to be severely food-insecure.

The coronavirus pandemic has accentuated the already poor socio-economic conditions of Palestinians, particularly vulnerable groups like women, children, the elderly, and people of determination.

The situation in the Gaza Strip is especially concerning due to its population density, decayed infrastructure and adverse living conditions. Gaza’s population of almost two million people, living under intense economic siege for more than 13 years, have been further isolated by Covid-19-related movement restrictions.

Supplied photo
Supplied photo

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