Dubai: The UAE’s ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ campaign has received pledges totalling Dh120 million from three entities.
Al Ansari Exchange and Sobha Realty have announced their contribution of Dh50 million each while Dubai Duty Free has pledged Dh20 million towards the campaign launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with the aim of establishing an endowment fund for sustainable food provision.
Al Ansari Exchange announced its contribution of Dh50 million to support projects launched by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, including the 2023 Ramadan campaign launched by Sheikh Mohammed, with the aim of establishing the largest Ramadan food aid endowment fund within a sustainable framework.
Coinciding with the holy month of Ramadan, the campaign aims to create sustainable solutions to fight hunger, eradicate its causes and limit its repercussions through clear programs and targeted processes to effectively support vulnerable groups.
Al Ansari Exchange pledged to contribute Dh50 million over a period of five years, to support which charity and humanitarian projects implemented by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives around the world within five main pillars: Humanitarian Aid and Relief, Healthcare and Disease Control, Spreading Education and Knowledge, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Empowering Communities.
Values of giving, generosity
Mohamed Ali Al Ansari, chairman of Al Ansari Exchange, said: “UAE leadership’s steadfast support of underprivileged populations through the launch of humanitarian initiatives is a reflection of the country’s long-held values of giving and generosity. Our contribution to Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives, this year’s Ramadan campaign in particular, is testament to our commitment to support every effort made by the UAE to support vulnerable groups everywhere.
“Charity efforts in the UAE garner wide support from all community groups as a testament to the spirit of solidarity among its people. This year’s Ramadan campaign will represent a major shift in the way we undertake humanitarian work, and will lead to a sustainable charity model,” he added.
Al Ansari Exchange has been an active participant in humanitarian work as it has contributed to the “10 Million Meals” campaign and “100 Million Meals” campaign, in addition to the company’s financial contribution to the “1 Billion Meals” campaign in 2022.
A better future
The pledge to contribute Dh50 million over a period of five years is an extension to Sobha Realty’s continuous support for humanitarian efforts, including its donation of Dh1 million towards last Ramadan’s “1 Billion Meals” campaign which provided meals across 50 countries.
PNC Menon, founder and chairman of Sobha Realty, said: “We are keen to support humanitarian initiatives, including the “1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign, inspired by Sheikh Mohammed’s vision of sustainable humanitarian efforts within an integrated institutional framework that highlights the role of effective partnerships. Millions of people around the world suffer from hunger, and it is our duty to contribute to creating a better future where the nutrition needs are sufficiently met. This vision aligns with objectives of this campaign and builds upon the outcomes of previous food provision campaigns”.
Dubai Duty Free pledged to contribute a total of Dh20 million from its Foundation over a period of three years to help implement sustainable measures to fight and eradicate hunger around the world.
Colm McLoughlin, executive vice chairman and CEO of Dubai Duty Free, said: “Launched by Sheikh Mohammed and coinciding with the month of Ramadan, the “1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign is an inspiring new initiative that aims to provide sustainable food aid to underprivileged populations on a large scale. We are honoured for our Foundation to participate in the campaign’s endowment fund and to help alleviate the suffering of fellow humans.
“UAE’s humanitarian and charity initiatives continue to gather momentum every year, with this year’s campaign fully demonstrating the country’s commitment to the global fight against hunger,” he added.
“1 Billion Meals Endowment” campaign builds on the success of previous food aid campaigns starting with “10 Million Meals” campaign in Ramadan 2020, which exceeded its target and provided 15.3 million meals. This was followed in Ramadan 2021 by “100 Million Meals” campaign, which doubled its target and distributed 220 meals thanks to the contributions of 385,000 donators from 51 nationalities. Later, “1 Billion Meals” campaign launched in Ramadan 2022 hit its target in under a month, providing meals in 50 countries around the world with the support of 320,868 donators.
It aims to provide a food safety net for the world’s most underprivileged populations, especially in countries struggling with food insecurity, and aligns with efforts to realize the UN Sustainable Development Goals for 2030, prominent among which is fighting hunger.