Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government graduation
Image Credit: WAM

It is hard to comprehend that we live in a world where a child dies of hunger every 10 seconds, or that by the time you read this sentence, another little hungry child will have died of starvation.

Hunger and starvation are a reality for too many people in too many places on the planet today — a place where some 25,000 die from hunger and hunger-related causes every single day, and 10,000 of those are children.

Around this world too, some 800 million are undernourished, and 52 million of them live in nations that make up the Middle East and North Africa region.

These startling figures serve as a reminder of the challenge we face in trying to ensure that everyone has enough food to eat each day. His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the One Billion Meals campaign to provide food for people in need across the world.

The initiative will run throughout Ramadan which begins in early April and it will continue in the following years. “More than 800 million people are hungry worldwide. Our humanity and religion prompt us to extend a helping hand to them,” the Vice-President tweeted, adding that the campaign’s slogan will be “He is not a believer whosoever sleeps full while his neighbour is hungry.”

Remarkable humanitarian campaign

This remarkable humanitarian campaign reflects a long-standing tenet that this nation will do everything within its means to provide relief, aid and assistance to the weak, the poor, the deprived and victims of catastrophe, strike and turmoil.

Organised by Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the campaign is an expansion of the UAE’s previous Ramadan campaign “100 Million Meals”, which was launched last year, and raised more than double its target earlier this year to secure food parcels to the disadvantaged in 47 countries across four continents. Those were the equivalent of providing 220 million meals, and the new initiative will more than quadruple that highly successful and key target.

The One Billion Meals campaign aims to provide sustainable food aid to underserved populations, as part of the UAE’s contributions to global efforts through an integrated food supply ecosystem.

Working with the UN World Food Programme, the Food Banking Regional Network, the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment and humanitarian organisations in targeted countries, the food assistance will change people’s lives — and save them too.

No one should die from starvation in this day and age.