Coronavirus: Sheikha Hind wins UN award for leading UAE's '10 million meals' drive
Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum, wife of the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, was recognised for spearheading the Ramadan campaign
Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum, wife of the Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, was honoured by the UN for leading a charitable initiative that delivered millions of meals to people in need during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The UAE's "10 million meals' campaign" – which operated throughout Ramadan – exceeded its own lofty target by providing 15.3 million meals and food parcels to low-income families and those hardest hit by the outbreak.
The nationwide scheme, launched with the Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, received donations from 180,000 people and businesses and attracted 1,500 volunteers to distribute food items in only three weeks.
Sheikha Hind was named Humanitarian of the Year 2020 at the Arab Woman Awards UAE for her efforts in leading the community-spirited project.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid congratulated his wife in a post on Twitter.
The Arab Women Awards is held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistance, in partnership with UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.
The accolade recognises Sheikha Hind's philanthropic work and her efforts to empower women across all sections of society.
Sheikha Hind has led the UAE Food Bank since it was established in 2017, a body that co-ordinates the distribution of surplus food from restaurants, the hospitality sector and other outlets to those less fortunate.
In 2019 alone, the bank distributed 13,448 tonnes of food supplies to labourers and low-income individuals and families.
“Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the main supporter of the various humanitarian initiatives that continue to cement the UAE’s status as a beacon of hope and a pioneer in creating a better future for humanity,” Sheikha Hind said.
“Emirati women have adopted the values of compassion and generosity from our leaders who have taught us to aid people in need, empower the vulnerable and actively contribute to building stable and safe societies.”
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak said the award was recognition of Sheikha Hind's decades of service to the nation.
“As Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid once said, Sheikha Hind is very close to people. Her decades-long philanthropic work through major social and humanitarian initiatives and campaigns have touched lives,” Sheikh Nahyan said.
“Announcing Sheikha Hind as the Humanitarian of the Year demonstrates the solid impact of the 10 Million Meals campaign in providing social support to thousands of low-income individuals and families at the peak of the Covid-19 crisis.
"These extensive efforts reflect Sheikha Hind’s relentless dedication to humanitarian work to foster co-operation and coexistence across different society segments.”
Initiative brought country together
Charitable organisations, businesses and members of the public rallied round to support the UAE's biggest food drive.
Charity groups contributed enough donations to provide 6.8 million meals, while companies and businessmen pledged to the value of 5.7 million meals
The campaign’s website received donations to provide 1.4 million meals, and the value of about 771,000 meals came from text message donations. The call centre received in-kind donations that exceeded 726,000 meals.
Updated: October 14, 2020 08:19 PM