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Salma project uses Nasa food pouches

The food aid project will provide aid to any country affected by a crisis within 72 hours

Gulf News

Dubai: The Salma food aid project uses Nasa technology to preserve and deliver food to countries in crisis, said Shaima Al Zarouni, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Dubai’s International Humanitarian City (IHC).

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the new food aid programme on Saturday.

“The UAE and its leaders are proving to be front runners and pioneers in the humanitarian work by launching this project, which is complementary to existing projects.””
-Shaima Al Zarouni | CEO, IHC
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Named after the first Emirati nurse Salma, the project aims to provide immediate food aid for one million people each year who are affected by crises across the globe.

Shaikh Mohammad announced that the Salma project’s first beneficiary is Gaza, which is currently under Israeli aggression, adding that the first batch of food aid to Gaza is only part of the comprehensive Emirati programme which provides treatment, food aid, medical supplies and reconstruction of Palestinians’ properties subjected to unjust aggression in Gaza.

“The time now is to act and provide relief, support and help and it is not the time for talking. We also call upon all countries and people to stand in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza,” said Shaikh Mohammad.

Revealing details of the project, Shaima told Gulf News that the 100,000 meals, which were to reach Gaza on the first day of Eid through Jordan, are ready to eat.

“The food delivered by the Salma project will be cooked and ready to eat as many people who are in critical situation might not have access to a kitchen to cook. It will also be preserved in pouches that are used by Nasa astronauts, which have a long shelf life.”

Shaima pointed out that the Nasa pouches were chosen for this project because some areas of crisis cannot be accessed and these pouches will not be damaged if they are thrown from a plane.

She said that one pouch, which can feed two people, is supplied with nutritious wholesome food including halal meat. The project will provide the pouches in cooperation with the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and the UN World Food Programme. IHC is a strategic partner that will provide logistical support for the initiative throughout the year.

“The 100,000 meals are the first of the 900,000 to come. They will not only go to Gaza, they will also include other countries that will, god forbid, suffer from a crisis such as wars, floods or any other natural disaster in the future, regardless of the country’s religious, ethnic or political status.”

The food pouches can be customised according to each country’s needs, said Shaima. She also said given the fact that 50 per cent of crises occur in this region, it is important to have accessibility to the Salma pouches.

Reports say four out of five countries that are most likely to be struck by natural disasters are countries with a Muslim majority and, according to the UN Refugee Agency, 70 per cent of refugees are Muslims.

Shaima said the Salma project will respond to any crisis in accordance with international standard period, which is within 72 hours. She also pointed out that the UAE responded to the Gaza crisis within 36 hours.

“The UAE and its leaders are proving to be front runners and pioneers in the humanitarian work by launching this project, which is complementary to the existing humanitarian projects.”

The Salma emergency food relief programme is a partnership between the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) and the Awqaf, Minors Affairs Foundation in Dubai and Noor Endowments — a body created to support the development of Awqaf all over the world — in collaboration with the UN Food Programme, with the aim of managing the production of food packages and meals that are 100 per cent halal.

Shaikh Mohammad asserted during the launch of the new relief programme: “Our relief work in the UAE is diverse and multi-channelled; it is also widespread. We are trying through the new programme to bridge a gap in world relief work by customising this programme to become an emergency food aid programme that takes into account the provision of halal food that is high quality for those affected to help them overcome the early days of disasters and conflicts.”

He said the UAE today represents the largest humanitarian station globally, shipping more than half of the humanitarian aid and relief across the world. It will continue this international humanitarian duty, he added, while expanding its role in the areas of global relief as it represents the basic principles upon which the UAE was founded and one of the core values of the people of the UAE.

The Salma project is one of many UAE humanitarian projects that include the Suqia water campaign and dress one million needy children campaign.


Recent UAE Food Aid project

Compiled by Gulf News Archives

June 2014

The UAE Project to Aid Pakistan (UAE PAP) distributed humanitarian aid and food supplies to 50,000 families in the refugee camps in Bannu at a cost of $2.5 million (Dh9.1 million), in line with the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan

May, 2014

The Emirates Red Crescent has distributed relief aid to areas affected by floods in Bosnia. The RCA send emergency food and shelters to Bosnia and Herzegovina to help the victims of record floods

May, 2014

UAE sends urgent relief aid to survivors of massive landslide that engulfed Aab Bareek village in Badakhshan province of Afghanistan. The aid including tents, food and medicines were send on the directives of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan through the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation.

April 2014

UAE pledges $20 million (Dh73.4 million) for the World Food Programme, to meet food security needs of the internally displaced Syrians. $15 million (Dh55 million) allotted for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, in response to food security needs of the Palestinian refugees inside Syria. Another $13 million (Dh47.7 million)offered to Unicef and the World Food Programme to meet the nutrition needs of children under five years old and pregnant and nursing women.

March 2014

The UAE Project to Assist Pakistan (UAE PAP) has distributed 20,000 food baskets among displaced families in Durrani and Tirah Valley camps in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan, The UAE PAP has prepared and distributed over 1,600 tonnes of food aid among the displaced families. The food items include flour, rice, sugar, salt, lentils, cooking oil and tea weighing 80kg per family.

February 2014

An Emirates Red Crescent Authority aid convoy left Abu Dhabi to Jordan’s capital Amman as part of the UAE’s massive relief programme to improve living conditions of Syrian refugees in Jordan and alleviate their human suffering.

August 2013

The Emirates Red Crescent distributed food aid in Somalia as part of a programme they are conducting during the month of Ramadan

May 2013

The UAE has provided food aid worth Dh500 million for thousands of Yemeni families in need. Among the 24 million-population, 10.5 million people badly need food aid

July 2012

The aid plane from the UAE carrying 44 tons relief food supplies for Yemeni refugees arrived in the Yemeni capital as part of the “Sanedhum” (help them) relief campaign launched by the UAE to help Yemenis counter food shortages in regions hit by famine.

July 2011

The UAE aid and rescue team handed out emergency humanitarian aid to refugees in Somalia. Thousands of people affected by drought and famine in the Horn of Africa were given food supplies.

May 2009

The UAE Health Ministry and its partners sent a shipment of baby foodstuff and supplies, as well as medical heart equipment, to alleviate an emerging humanitarian crisis in Lebanon. This was the government’s second shipment in aid of the Lebanese people.