The UAE’s humanitarian campaign to distribute 100 million meals to the needy has reached double its target, with enough funds raised to provide 216 million meals around the world.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, praised the UAE and its people for supporting the 100 Million Meals campaign, which was launched before Ramadan.
A total of 385,000 donors from 51 countries supported the humanitarian drive, with 20 million meals secured through text message and website donations, while 70 million meals were raised from private sector contributions.
“The record donations and support to 100 Million Meals campaign is a testament that strategic and sustainable humanitarian work has become an established culture in the UAE,” Sheikh Mohammed said.
“The objectives of 100 Million Meals were ambitious to match the magnitude of hardship that Covid-19 has brought to vulnerable populations across the world.”
"The overwhelming community engagement and record turnout of individuals and companies who donated to the campaign confirms, once again, that the UAE will always remain a global capital of philanthropy," Sheikh Mohammed said.
As part of the campaign, 12 food banks and nine humanitarian organisations are distributing the food parcels in 30 countries, including across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.
The needy in Palestine and those in refugee camps in Jordan and Bangladesh will benefit from 20 per cent of the total food parcels.
Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Secretary General of the Mohammed bin Rashid Global Initiatives (MBRGI) - the organisation overseeing the campaign - said that the success of the campaign reflects the UAE’s connection with humanitarian relief.
“In the UAE, there is an innate desire to help people in need,” he said.
“It was clear to see, from the number and range of donors, that the entire UAE community is galvanised by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s forward-looking vision to institutionalise humanitarian work across the nation.
“Thanks to the deeply embedded sense of empathy and charity that runs rich among the UAE’s citizens and residents, our country’s work to eradicate malnutrition and hunger across the world will only continue to accelerate.”
He said the key to exceeding the campaign’s goal was the teamwork between all partners involved, including international stakeholders, local entities and individuals.
Charity auctions also played an important role in helping raise funds for the campaign.
An international charity art auction of rare artworks by renowned artists was organised for the initiative
The auction also included a piece of the Kaaba cover, embroidered in gold and silver, which was donated by Sheikh Mohammed.
Other auction items included drawings by the late South African president Nelson Mandela, masterpieces by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro.
The Most Noble Numbers charity auction auction off a prestigious single-digit car plate, AA9, for Dh38 million ($10.4m).
Partners for good
MBRGI partnered with several humanitarian organisations to deliver food parcels to the doorsteps of the needy.
Some of the groups involved were the United Nations World Food Programme, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment, the Food Banking Regional Network, and local charitable organisations in the 30 beneficiary countries.
Food aid will reach beneficiaries in countries including Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Tunisia, Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Sierra Leone, Angola, Ghana, Uganda, Kenya, Senegal, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Burundi, Benin, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Kosovo, Nepal and Nepal.