File image of UAE aid for flood victims in Pakistan last year Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A delegation from Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) and the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) have visited Sindh province in Pakistan as part of the 1 Billion Meals campaign.

During their visit, they oversaw the results of the relief support provided by MBRGI in response to the devastating floods that occurred last summer in Pakistan. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, had directed urgent aid worth Dh50 million, including the contribution to WFP, to provide relief to those affected by the floods in Pakistan.

Sarah Al Nuaimi, director of MBRGI, followed up on communities that were impacted by the natural disaster in Sindh Image Credit: Supplied

With the generous contributions of donors, including MBRGI’s 1 Billion Meals campaign, WFP has supported over 3.4 million flood-affected people in Pakistan with food, nutrition and cash assistance.

The visiting delegation included Sarah Al Nuaimi, director of MBRGI; Amani Batarfi, associate project manager at MBRGI; Al Anoud Al Abdoul, deputy director of foreign assistance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Tariq Ahmed Abdul Samad Hassan from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Caterina Galluzzi, deputy director of WFP in the GCC; Karim Elguindi, head of emergency response at WFP in Pakistan; and Judith Lumu, head of WFP’s Provincial Office in Sindh.

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Their visit was to Maghan Halepoto and Soomar Sher in District Mirpurkhas.

On the first day of their visit, the delegation met with government representatives from the Planning and Development Department of Sindh and visited the Lipid-based Nutrient Supplements Factory in Hub, Balochistan. On the second day, the delegation engaged with flood-affected communities in the villages of Maghan Halepoto and Soomar Sher, who had received food assistance provided by WFP through the contribution from MBRGI.

WFP Pakistan continues to support the flood-affected communities in Pakistan through cash and nutrition assistance.

Strong partnerships

Dr Abdul Kareem Sultan Al Olama, CEO of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, said extending aid and relief to those in need around the world reflects the vision of Sheikh Mohammed and his philosophy regarding humanitarian efforts and sustainable charity, with the relief support offered by MBRGI to Pakistani regions affected by floods last summer as part of the 1 Billion Meals campaign an example of the positive impact achieved by UAE’s humanitarian drives.

Dr Abdul Kareem Sultan Al Olama

“MBRGI continues to strengthen its partnerships with international organisations in order to aid countries and communities struggling with economic challenges or natural disasters. MBRGI’s cooperation with the World Food Programme helps provide necessary help for those who need it quickly and efficiently. Thanks to the generosity of contributors, including the 1 Billion Meals campaign, the WFP was able to provide food and emergency relief to some 3.4 million people in Pakistan,” Dr Al Olama added.

“MBRGI continues to implement humanitarian and charity projects around the world, extending emergency aid to victims of crises and natural disasters. Its Year in Review report for 2022 showed a spending of Dh1.4 billion which made a positive impact on the lives of 102 million beneficiaries in 100 countries around the world - increasing the number of beneficiaries by 11 million compared to 2021 as it continues to expand the scope and reach of its projects.”

Immediate response

Sarah Al Nuaimi highlighted that MBRGI works to alleviate human suffering under two of its five main pillars – humanitarian aid and relief and empowering communities. She said: “Food support was distributed to millions of beneficiaries in cooperation with partners in Pakistan, due to last summer’s devastating floods in Pakistan having severely impacted local communities. It was also out of our keenness to extend a helping hand to those in need everywhere, in line with MBRGI’s commitment to sustaining humanitarian work.”

Al Nuaimi pointed out that MBRGI’s immediate response has positively contributed to empowering the residents of affected areas and reducing the repercussions of the flood.

“Through its strategic partnerships with WFP and its cooperation with government agencies and local authorities, the 1 Billion Meals campaign succeeded in reaching people in affected areas within a short time, securing the basic food needs of the population, especially the vulnerable and less fortunate groups.”

Lifeline for millions

Caterina Galluzzi expressed her gratitude to MBRGI, on behalf of the World Food Programme and the beneficiaries of the food assistance. She said: “The rapid support provided by MBRGI right at the onset of the disaster provided a lifeline for the millions of people affected by the floods in Pakistan and helped them avert catastrophic consequences.”

She added: “The 1 Billion Meals campaign reflects the vision and dedication to collaborate with WFP to achieve a World with Zero Hunger; a journey that requires sustained and timely financial support to meet urgent needs and build the resilience of affected communities. MBRGI exemplifies a global model for charitable and humanitarian work and contributes effectively to multilateral efforts to reduce the impact of humanitarian challenges.”

Galluzzi said: “As part of the overall floods’ response, WFP Pakistan was able to provide over 3.4 million people with food, nutrition and cash assistance, exceeding its target of 2.7 million people. Among the beneficiaries were 1.9 million flood-affected people in Sindh who received 55,019 metric tons of food in three rounds across 12 districts, while $10.1 million in cash-based transfers were distributed across seven districts in Sindh.”