Dubai: The UAE Food Bank, which falls under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced its annual results for 2023, highlighting impactful programmes and initiatives that benefited over 18.6 million people worldwide.
Established with the goal of distributing surplus food to those in need and reducing food waste, the UAE Food Bank received support from 800 donors in 2023, including local and international charities and food establishments.
In the same year, the Bank organised 105 awareness programmes, engaging nearly 9,843 participants and involving 1,800 volunteers.
Furthermore, the UAE Food Bank’s annual results revealed that it received approximately Dh14.7 million in funds and made a significant positive environmental impact by diverting 6,000 tonnes of food from landfills.
Curbing food waste
Aligned with its goal to achieve a 30 per cent reduction in food waste by 2027, these endeavours contributed to lowering environmental pollution and emissions associated with food waste.
Dawoud Al Hajri, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank, said that the bank’s 2023 results are a testament to the directives and follow up of Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank.
The bank’s mission is to provide food to beneficiaries by efficiently managing surplus food and reducing waste, adhering to organised and sustainable principles, and ensuring the highest quality delivery to beneficiaries worldwide.
“The UAE Food Bank operates as part of a long-term plan that seeks to provide food to beneficiaries through humanitarian initiatives and programmes,” he said.
“This commitment ensures both sustainability and the delivery of high-quality food. Positioned as a globally recognised food bank, the UAE Food Bank functions under a robust and sustainable framework, supporting the UAE’s ambition to lead the Global Food Security Index by 2051, in line with the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy 2051,” said Al Hajri.
Manal Bin Yaroof, Head of the Executive Team of the UAE Food Bank, highlighted that the results for 2023 surpassed the performance indicators by 100 per cent of the set targets.
During the same year, the UAE Food Bank engaged in a range of local and international events with a focus on humanitarian work, charity, sustainability and the environment.
The UAE Food Bank served as a golden partner at the Grace Preservation First Global Conference and took part in significant events such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), Gulf Food Exhibition (Gulfood), Dubai International Food Safety Conference and Food Industry Forum.
Collaborating with partners, the bank actively engaged in numerous humanitarian projects and initiatives, aiming to provide relief and assistance to individuals in need across the world.
As part of relief campaigns in response to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the UAE Food Bank delivered approximately 293 tonnes of food to the Emirates Red Crescent.
Additionally, it provided aid in the form of 54 tonnes of food items to Libya following floods, and contributed another 60 tonnes as part of the ‘Compassion for Gaza’ relief campaign.
Number of strategic partnerships entered into by the UAE Food Bank in 2023
In 2023, the UAE Food Bank entered more than 32 strategic partnerships with public and private sector institutions, humanitarian organisations, charities and food establishments.
These partnerships include 25 agreements focused on providing surplus food, three collaborations dedicated to reducing food wastage and contributing funds, and an agreement dedicated to recycling food waste.
Moreover, it contributes to the National Food Security Strategy 2051 by collaborating to support local farmers and extending the footprint of the bank globally.
The bank also establishes partnerships for the assessment and implementation of various consultation plans and collaborates extensively with a diverse network of Arab and international food banks.
The UAE Food Bank has organised 367 events, workshops and campaigns, forging collaborations with 232 strategic partners and formalising five Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with regional food banks.