Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has issued directives for the formation of a Board of Trustees for the 1 Billion Meals Endowment initiative, which falls under the umbrella of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives. The move aims to ensure managing and investing assets of the largest food aid endowment project, as well achieving highest recurring returns and creating a sustainable source of giving.
Sheikh Mohammed said: “Creating a Board of Trustees for the 1 Billion Meals Endowment is a key step towards realising the endowment’s strategic goals, thereby reaching the largest possible segment of underprivileged individuals and providing a food safety net for tens of millions of people around the world.
“The Board of Trustees will be tasked with growing and investing the endowed capital, creating plans to ensure a return on investment and informed spending towards sustainable food aid sites. The aim is to sustain the impact of this initiative for years to come, and to create a better future through ongoing initiatives.”
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives collaborated with a specialised agency to prepare a comprehensive governance framework that ensures sustainability of the endowment.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed to coincide with the holy month of Ramadan, the 1 Billion Meals Endowment initiative aims to mobilise local, regional and international efforts to implement sustainable programs to fight and eradicate hunger within an institutional framework.
The Board of Trustees will be chaired by Mohammad bin Abdullah Al Gergawi; Secretary General of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, and will comprise 8 members: HE Hesham Abdullah Al Qassim; Vice Chairman and Managing Director of Emirates NBD and Chairman of Emirates Islamic Bank, Dr. Ahmad bin Abdulaziz Al Haddad; Grand Mufti and Director of the Ifta Department of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai, HE Fadel Al Ali; Chairman of Dubai Financial Services Authority, HE Saeed AlEter Al Dhanhani; Assistant Secretary-General of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, HE Ali Al-Mutawa, Secretary-General of Dubai’s Endowments and Minors’ Trust Foundation, Dr. Mohammed Suhail Al-Muhairi; CEO and Managing Director of Dar Al Ber Society, HE Ali Al Obaidli; Division Director, Engineering Office, Private Office of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Dr. Abdulrahman Al Sharif; Managing Director at Al Sharif Advocates & Legal Consultants.
Board of Trustees tasks
The ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ Board of Trustees will be responsible for growing and investing the endowed capital in a way that ensures its sustainability, expands the scope of charity and extends its reach. It will endeavor to achieve the highest recurring return on investments of the endowment’s assets by focusing on feasible sectors in line with economic growth through a Sharia-compliant contemporary Islamic approach.
The board will create a modern investment strategy to ensure highest possible returns and will oversee and review investment policies to ensure compliance with approved processes. It will also be responsible for analyzing cash requirements and cash flow.
Additionally, the Board of Trustees will examine and analyze investment risks to minimise exposure, by examining the feasibility of potential investments and opting for high-return diversified investments, while ensuring compatibility with relevant regulations.
The Board of Trustees will work closely with relevant authorities, private sector, international organizations and charities working to fight hunger around the world. It will be responsible for the establishment of sustainable food aid sites, as well as implementing feeding programs in underprivileged communities around the world, based on data collected from relevant organisations.
The board will create processes and formulate regulations in accordance with international best practices, opening the door for the contribution of individuals, institutions, businesses, businessmen and influential philanthropists in order to maximise contributions.
The Board of Trustees may form specialised committees as needed to support its work and enhance the endowment’s impact and wider reach.
Promoting the culture of endowment
The campaign helps promote and revive the culture of endowment, an established Arab tradition, as an investment for future generations and a tool for sustainable development, contributing to the global efforts to fight hunger in line with Sustainable Development Goals, as well as contributing to other humanitarian and charity projects as approved by the Board of Trustees to extend the reach of humanitarian efforts to include more underprivileged groups.
Representing an ongoing charity and allowing all members of the community to be part of its efforts, the endowment project is a practical example of the values of compassion, giving and solidarity long held in the UAE community.