Dubai: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and a group of international, regional and local partners is supporting the UAE’s 1 Billion Meals initiative, the largest campaign of its kind in the region to provide food support to underprivileged and vulnerable communities in 50 countries.
The partners play a role in its various operations aimed at providing the equivalent of one billion meals to less fortunate people, especially children, refugees, displaced persons, and those affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters around the world.
Alongside UNHCR, the group of operational partners of the 1 Billion Meals initiative, organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), includes the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP), Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN), the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), the UAE Food Bank, as well as local charity, humanitarian and social work institutions in beneficiary countries.
The initiative’s partners are an integral part of the joint efforts to reach a world with Zero Hunger, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 2, by 2030.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was created in 1950 in the aftermath of World War II to help millions of refugees who fled their homes or lost their homes during the conflict. Today, more than 70 years later, UNHCR is still working to provide protection and assistance to refugees around the world. As of December 31, 2020, the number of UNHCR staff reached 16,700 people in 138 countries and regions around the world, with staff distributed among regional, branch and field offices to assist refugees and displaced persons. They specialise in many areas including legal protection, administration, community services, public affairs and health. UNHCR gets its funding almost entirely from voluntary contributions, and accepts contributions in kind, including non-food items such as tents, medicine and trucks.
Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR’s Regional Representative to the GCC and advisor to the High Commissioner, explained: “Our partnership with the 1 Billion Meals initiative aims to alleviate the suffering of refugees who were forced to leave their homes, losing everything. This partnership is an extension of our cooperation with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives during last year’s 100 Million Meals campaign that had a positive impact around the world. We believe that the 1 Billion Meals initiative is an ambitious humanitarian initiative and we hope that it achieves even more accomplishments and milestones.”
Shared commitment to urgent humanitarian issues
Sara Al Nuaimi, director of MBRGI, said: “Our humanitarian initiatives’ regional and international partnerships have a common objective – to reach the largest number of beneficiaries and the widest geographic scale. MBRGI’s partnership with UNHCR guarantees the one billion meals will reach those most in need for food support and aid. It’s a continuation to existing collaborations for other humanitarian projects that aim to make a global impact in the lives of millions of displaced people in need.”