1 Billion Meals UAE food Ramadan
The One Billion Meals initiative, the most extensive campaign of its kind in the region, during its drive to distribute vital food support to the underprivileged and vulnerable in 50 countries Image Credit: WAM

Since its founding, the UAE has been a force for good. Helping those in need, wherever they are, is an intrinsic part of the nation’s values. Today, the country is one of the top donors, assisting other countries and helping underprivileged societies across the world.

The latest initiative to help the less fortunate was the successful One Billion Meals campaign, a unique and ambitious initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, at the beginning of Ramadan.

The campaign, organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), has built on the success of the last initiative, the 100 million meals, launched last year.

The 1 billion meals campaign is the largest humanitarian initiative of its kind in this part of the world. Aimed at providing essential meals to needy communities, especially women, children, refugees, the displaced and victims of natural disasters and crises in more than 50 countries.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed tweeted that the campaign had achieved its target well before the end of the holy month with generous donations, from 320,000 individuals and corporates, that achieved a record 600 million meals towards the one billion meals initiative. Through a personal donation, the Vice President provided the remaining 400 million meals.

“The ‘one billion meals’ campaign reflects the true values of the people of the UAE, and their empathy towards the struggles of others, amid the rising food security challenges the world is presently facing,” Sheikh Mohammed tweeted, paying tribute to the generosity of this nation.

It is his vision and humanitarian leadership though that drive these extraordinary initiatives. For decades, he led countless campaigns to assist the less fortunate societies, with almost all essential means — food, education facilities, health facilities and medical supplies, infrastructure, etc.

His humanitarian role is recognised worldwide as an essential part of the global efforts to ease poverty, especially in the developing world.

The One Billion Meals campaign has already begun to provide aid for refugees, displaced individuals and families, and crisis-stricken communities in 13 countries including Jordan, India, Pakistan, Lebanon, Kyrgyzstan, Angola and Uganda.

The culture of giving as a genuine UAE value; the enduring legacy of the late Sheikh Zayed and the founding fathers. Sheikh Mohammed’s initiative is an embodiment of this legacy.

As Sheikh Zayed said: “We believe there is no true benefit of the wealth that we have unless it reaches those in need, wherever they may be, and regardless of their nationality or beliefs.”