The ‘10 million meals’ campaign concluded after drawing overwhelming donations that secured over 15 million meals for Covid-19-hit communities in the UAE in less than a month. The ‘10 million meals’ campaign is the UAE’s biggest community campaign, that aims to provide food assistance to families and individuals who have lost their income or got affected directly or indirectly by the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic.
Her Highness Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of H.H. 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, said the ’10 million meals’ campaign has presented a practical humanitarian response to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. The UAE’s biggest food distribution drive, she noted, opened new horizons of humanitarian work in the UAE society by bringing everyone together to support the vulnerable against the global pandemic, according to the press release.
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.
Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum said, “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.” She praised the massive response of individuals and companies to the ‘10 million meals’ campaign that exceeded its target within only the first week of its launch, drawing even more donations throughout. “The overwhelming response that continued, even after the campaign had exceeded its target within the first week, indicates the powerful solidarity of the UAE society,” she noted.
Commending corporate donations, Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum said, “The impactful contributions of public and private entities and the humanitarian sector fulfill corporate social responsibility through providing food support for low-income individuals and families most affected by the covid-19 pandemic.”
She stressed that the contributions of citizens and residents from over 115 nationalities capture the core fabric of the UAE’s diverse society that is based on tolerance and coexistence. “At times of crisis, we get to witness the results of the values we have deeply rooted in our society since the foundation as we succeed in uniting people from different cultures and nationalities to empower and bring happiness for one another.”
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had announced the launch of the ’10 million meals’ campaign earlier in April to provide food support for communities hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic that left many facing unemployment and income reduction. 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 Dh20 million at the beginning of Ramadan, later followed by an additional Dh9 million to collectively secure 3.62 million meals with the total Dh29 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, sterilization, packaging, loading and transport, leading up to the nationwide distribution.
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.
The World’s Tallest Donation Box
Later in Ramadan, the MBRGI launched the World’s Tallest Donation Box in collaboration with Burj Khalifa. The unique initiative enabled people to buy Burj Khalifa lights with as a little as Dh10 each to help provide meals for those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Every light purchased for Dh10 on www.tallestdonationbox.com provided a meal for someone in need. The donations lit one pixel at a time, illuminating Burj Khalifa’s 1.2 million lights in less than a week in a message of hope and solidarity to the world amid the global pandemic. The initiative alone secured 1.2 million meals for the ’10 million meals’ campaign.
Over 1,000 volunteers, aged between 18 and 53, have so far participated in the ’10 million meals’ campaign, taking up different tasks from responding to calls, distributing meals on field and following up with beneficiaries. The volunteers joined through the five platforms of Dubai Municipality, ‘Your City Needs You’ initiative, volunteers.ae, Community Development Authority (CDA) and Hope Makers Development Programme.