The ‘10 million meals’ campaign concluded after drawing record-breaking donations, securing over 15 million meals in less than a month for hardest-hit communities in the UAE due to COVID-19, leading to unemployment and income reduction.
The ‘10 million meals’ campaign has presented a practical humanitarian response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, said Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank.
The UAE’s biggest food distribution drive, she noted, opened new horizons of humanitarian work in the society by bringing everyone together to support the vulnerable against the global pandemic. “The ‘10 million meals’ campaign reflects the UAE’s commitment to providing necessary resources that ensure a decent life for all at times of crisis. The global pandemic has affected everyone across the world. In the UAE, we are keen to overcome this crisis together, without leaving anyone in need.”
The campaign, overseen by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, drew donations from 110,000 individuals and companies of 115 nationalities to provide over 15 million meals and food parcels to people in need. With the help of over 1,000 volunteers, 6.5 million meals have so far been distributed across the country.
The campaign enabled individuals, companies, government entities and humanitarian organisations to make financial and in-kind donations towards providing meals and food parcels to low-income individuals and families throughout the month of Ramadan.
Online donations secured 1.4 million meals, while SMS donations helped provide 771,535 meals. In-kind donations made through the campaign’s call centre amounted to 726,392 meals. While companies and prominent entrepreneurs pledged 5.7 million meals, collective donations of humanitarian and charity organisations helped secure 6.8 million meals. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment took the lead by donating AED20 million at the beginning of Ramadan, later followed by an additional AED9 million to collectively secure 3.62 million meals with the total AED29 million donation.
Under the supervision of MBRGI and the Social Solidarity Fund Against Covid-19, meals and food parcels are delivered in a logistical distribution network developed in collaboration with partnering entities to ensure swift and efficient delivery of food to beneficiaries across the country. The campaign’s different teams were assigned different roles in food catering, sterilisation, packaging, loading and transport, leading up to the nationwide distribution.
Later in Ramadan, MBRGI launched the World’s Tallest Donation Box in collaboration with Burj Khalifa, which secured 1.2 million meals for the ‘10 million meals’ campaign. The unique initiative enabled people to buy Burj Khalifa lights with as little as AED10 each to help provide meals for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Every light purchased for AED10 provided a meal for someone in need.
The UAE Food Bank, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH) and UAE Water Aid Foundation (Suqia UAE) are executing the ‘10 million meals’ campaign in collaboration with ministries, federal and local entities and humanitarian and charitable organisations in the UAE.