Packing boxes for the campaign, which started in Ramadan Image Credit: Instagram/@mbrinitiatives

Dubai: UAE’s ‘1 Billion Meals’ initiative, the largest campaign of its kind in the region to provide food support to underprivileged communities in 50 countries, is supported by the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) and a group of international, regional and local partners.

The partners play a role in its various operations aimed at providing the equivalent of 1 billion meals to less fortunate people, especially children, refugees, displaced persons, and those affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters around the world.

This partnership is an extension to the existing joint efforts between Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), organiser of the 1 Billion Meals initiative, and WFP, who was also a partner of last Ramadan’s 100 Million Meals campaign, which succeeded in surpassing its target – collecting and distributing 220 million meals in 47 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.

Renewed partnership

Mageed Yahia, WFP representative to the GCC, said: “Our strategic partnership with the efforts of the 1 Billion Meals initiative, is a renewed cooperation with MBRGI which continues to support international efforts to provide relief to people suffering from hunger.”

He added: “Our cooperation with MBRGI in the 100 Million Meals campaign last year helped secure about 56.5 million meals in Palestine, Somalia, and refugee camps in Jordan and Bangladesh, by using advanced cash transfers that enabled beneficiaries to buy a range of nutritious foods from local markets. We look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership together in the 1 Billion Meals initiative to tackle the challenge of hunger around the world.”

Shared commitment

Sara Al Nuaimi, director of MBRGI, said: “MBRGI’s partnership with [WFP] is a continuous one, and it expands the circle of beneficiaries of the 1 Billion Meals initiative, especially at a time when the challenges of hunger and malnutrition are growing, with its repercussions affecting more than 800 million people, and threatening the lives of 10,000 children every day.”

She added: “This partnership with WFP, which spans several years, helps achieve the goal of zero hunger under the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations for the year 2030. In turn, we will continue to expand the circle of our regional and international partnerships to achieve the UAE’s approach to the sustainability of charitable and humanitarian work and to expand its frameworks and partnerships to the fullest extent.”

Partnerships for good

Alongside WFP, the group of operational partners of the 1 Billion Meals initiative includes the Food Banking Regional Network (FBRN), the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the UAE Food Bank, as well as local charity, humanitarian and social work institutions in beneficiary countries.

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World Food Programme

The United Nations World Food Programme is the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. It’s the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change. The programme’s funding needs an amount of about $18.9 billion (around Dh69.4 billion) for 2022 to be able to help about 137 million people around the world.

Donation channels

Donors can contribute to the 1 Billion Meals campaign through the campaign’s official website or 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 campaign’s call centre via the toll-free number 8009999.