Dubai: The ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative, the region’s largest food donation drive of its kind, has collected 420 million meals to date — in just three weeks following its launch by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the campaign provides food support to the underprivileged and the undernourished in 50 countries around the world.
The ‘1 Billion Meals’ campaign builds on the success of the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign, which ran during Ramadan last year and exceeded all its targets to collect 220 million meals and distribute them around the world. The ‘1 Billion Meals’ campaign will now target a new milestone in the fight against hunger and malnutrition, especially among vulnerable groups of children, refugees, displaced persons and victims of disasters and crises. ‘1 Billion Meals’ aims to collect an additional 780 million meals and distribute them to 50 countries around the world.
Mohammad Al Gergawi, Secretary-General of MBRGI, confirmed that the ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative has collected Dh200 million in donations, equivalent to 200 million meals, from 232,000 donors to date. In addition to the 220 million meals that were collected and distributed last year, this brings the total to 420 million meals. Al Gergawi highlighted that the initiative had also begun distribution operations in several countries, including Nigeria, Sudan, Albania, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, India and Kosovo.
Food, a basic human need
Al Gergawi said: “The influx of donations reflects the comprehensive nature of the initiative that aims to provide food aid as it is a basic human need. It is also a unique response to the call of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.” Al Gergawi confirmed that the launch of the initiative with the start of Ramadan, which marks a season of good deeds and giving, transformed the donation drive into a social movement. Extending from the UAE to feed the hungry in 50 countries across the globe, it contributes to the battle of more than 800 million people against hunger.
Al Gergawi praised the spirit of human solidarity and the high sense of responsibility shown by the UAE community towards the underprivileged and undernourished, who look to their fellow brothers to provide a safety net that protects them from the repercussions of food insecurity.
Until the final target is reached ...
Al Gergawi expressed his confidence in the UAE community of public and private sector organisations, individuals and philanthropists, to continue actively contributing to the largest food donation drive of its kind in the region until it reaches its ultimate goal of providing one billion meals to millions of individuals and families around the world. he said: “Today, donors to the ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative are feeding the hungry, embodying the values of Ramadan. They are also contributing towards achieving the second goal of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals — zero hunger. Lastly, they are renewing faith in humanity by sending, as His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum put it — ‘one billion humanitarian messages from the UAE to the world’.”
Donors can contribute to the ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative through the following donation channels — the campaign’s official website; bank transfer to the campaign’s account at Emirates NBD, number: AE300260001015333439802. Donors can also opt to donate Dh1 a day through a monthly subscription by sending ‘Meal’ via SMS to 1020 on the du network or 1110 on the Etisalat network. Donations can also be made through the campaign’s call centre via the toll-free number 8009999.