Workers sort boxes of meals at a warehouse in Dubai.
Imran Mojib, Special Correspondent
The ‘10 million meals’ campaign continues after contributions exceeded the target, drawing more than 11 million meals within the first week of the launch announcement made by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
The campaign, led by Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank, has received massive donations from companies, humanitarian organisations, businessmen, government and private entities and the general public to provide food support for communities affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in the UAE.
Financial and in-kind donations poured into the ’10 million meals’ campaign through the official website, SMS, bank transfer and call center within the first week of its launch.
The campaign, the UAE’s biggest food distribution drive, will continue receiving donations and securing meals throughout the holy month of Ramadan under the supervision of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with the Social Solidarity Fund against Covid-19.
Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Secretary-General of MBRGI, said, “The wide engagement that the ’10 million meals’ campaign has received reflects the integral role of the UAE’s humanitarian initiatives in bringing together all segments of the society in solidarity against any circumstances.”
He noted that these kinds of humanitarian campaigns implement the UAE’s commitment to preserve the human dignity, safeguard lives and provide all basic life necessities to the vulnerable irrespective of religion, colour or race. The social campaigns reinforce the country’s deeply-rooted values of tolerance, giving and coexistence.
He added, “The institutionalisation of humanitarian work, which the UAE’s humanitarian and charity organisations has been at the forefront globally over the past five decades since the country’s foundation, is manifested today as a solid approach and practice among individuals. The sustainable and systematic humanitarian work has transformed into an integrated societal culture that demonstrates day by day that nothing is impossible in the UAE where people are overcoming every challenge, regardless of how complicated or urgent, by standing together in solidarity.”
Al Gergawi highlighted the role of the ’10 million meals’ campaign in inspiring all segments of the UAE society to support the most vulnerable to the social and economic repercussions of the ongoing novel coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic that brought nations around the world to a standstill. He added that Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum has always dedicated her commitment to launching initiatives that safeguard lives in the UAE and abroad and fulfill the needs of disadvantaged communities.
“A country led by the founding fathers’ values of creating hope and giving and the vision of Mohammed bin Rashid will be the first to aid the vulnerable and empower the disadvantaged in times of crisis.”
The ’10 million meals’ campaign will continue throughout the holy month of Ramadan after drawing massive engagement within the first week of its launch to provide meals or equivalent food parcels to individuals and families in the UAE affected by the coronavirus outbreak that led many to unemployment and major income reductions.
Companies and individuals donated through the campaign’s different platforms where 39,000 donors provided the value of 412,000 meals through SMS and 7,000 donors paid for 859,000 meals on the website. In-kind donations received through the campaign’s call center totaled 163,000 meals.
Public and private entities and humanitarian organizations collectively donated 9.6 million meals within the first week of the campaign’s launch.
The ’10 million meals’ campaign enables companies, entities, humanitarian and charitable organizations, businessmen, philanthropists and the public to make financial and in-kind contributions towards providing meals or donating food items and parcels to be directly distributed to families and individuals across the UAE.
The joy of Ramadan to spread the good deeds have been increasing every day thanks to entities in the private sector, who in collaboration with their partners, support the society they are working.
Farzana Trading donated one million apples to be distributed with meals for communities affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the UAE’s biggest food distribution drive.
Donations poured in for the ’10 million meals’ campaign within a few days of its launch with philanthropists providing in-kind contributions through the call centre to support coronavirus-hit communities in UAE.
Close to 24 million children and youth could drop out or lack access to school next year because of COVID-19’s economic impact alone. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has been working tirelessly with its partners and supporters to create an incentive for parents to send their children back to school. Making sure nutritious meals and necessary health services are in place when schools reopen is a first step towards that, said Mageed Yahia, Director of WFP Office in the UAE and Representative to the GCC.
The Ministry, on Saturday, on its official twitter account said, “In view of the announcement by the health authorities in the Federal Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea of monitoring outbreaks of "Marburg" virus, and based on the Ministry's concern for the safety of the country's citizens, the Ministry advises to postpone travel to the Federal Republic of Tanzania and the Republic of Equatorial Guinea in this period.”
Environmental activists threw black liquid into the waters of a Roman fountain in Piazza di Spagna in the Italian capital, Rome, during a protest in which they spoke of the "end of the world" scenario.
They also do not know how to draw the attention of passersby to help them, which puts them at serious risks including death.