‘100 Million Meals’ campaign hits target in 10 days

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Nevin Al Sukari - Abu Dhabi - A woman receives a box donated by the '100 Million Meals' campaign in Pakistan. WAM

The ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign raised a whopping Dhs100 million from 185,000 donors, achieving its target within 10 days from its launch as donations continue to pour in to provide food aid for vulnerable communities in 30 countries.

Funds raised from philanthropists, individuals, and companies inside and outside the UAE will buy and distribute food parcels, equivalent to 100 million meals, in the region’s largest food drive to reach 30 countries in the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Europe and South America.

100Meals-Jordan-750x450A woman receives a donation box of the '100 Million Meals' in Egypt.

Despite achieving its target in record time, the campaign, run by the Global Initiatives (MBRGI), continues to receive donations to provide cross-border food relief packages that empower vulnerable communities to prepare their own meals throughout the holy month of Ramadan.

Every Dhs1 donated will provide one meal for beneficiaries in targeted countries including Sudan, Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestine, Bangladesh, Tanzania and Angola.

Food parcels are distributed in an integrated network of collaborations with 12 food banks in the regions, the UN World Food Programme (WFP), the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Humanitarian and Charity Establishment (MBRCH), and humanitarian organisations in the beneficiary countries.

Humanitarian values

Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Secretary-General of MBRGI, said the campaign’s success to raise donations to provide 100 million meals within 10 days reflects the inherent humanitarian values that run deep through the UAE society. Through its principles of giving, compassion and cooperation, the UAE is always ready to aid those in need around the world.

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He added, “the selfless desire of the people of UAE to contribute to the campaign mirrors the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of , to transform sustainable and systematic charity and humanitarian work into a community culture in the UAE.”

Al Gergawi stressed that donors have created a safety net to provide aid, relief and food support to the most impoverished groups in the targeted countries– a feat made all the more remarkable considering the initiative expanded its scope tenfold this year to include broader geographic horizons.

“Besides achieving its target, the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign has created a nationwide social momentum that reflected the culture of philanthropy deeply rooted in the lifestyle of people in the UAE, boosting the country’s pioneering status in the field of humanitarian work,” he added.

All segments of society

In 10 days, cash donations have flowed in through the four channels from 185,000 companies and individuals inside and outside the UAE, raising Dhs100 million to secure 100 million meals.

Online and SMS donations totalled Dhs11 million, while direct bank transfers to the campaign’s account amounted to Dhs40 million.

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The MBRCH and Dar Al Ber Society topped the list, each with Dhs20 million donation to secure 20 million meals.

Record Turnout

The campaign collected a whopping Dhs78 million within the first week from its launch, equivalent to providing 78 million meals to people in need across 30 countries.

Low-income families, orphans, widows and refugees in several countries have already started receiving food parcels. In collaboration with the UN’s WFP, 20 percent of all food parcels will be secured in refugee camps in Palestine, Jordan and Bangladesh.

Donations continues: Individuals and companies can donate in four easy ways. First, on the campaign’s website www.100millionmeals.ae; second, via making a transfer to the designated bank account through Dubai Islamic Bank (AE08 0240 0015 2097 7815 201); third, by sending “Meal” by SMS on the specified UAE numbers (Du or Etisalat) listed on the website; fourth, by contacting the campaign call center on the toll-free number 8004999.

Charity Auctions

To expand scope of donations to art collectors and enthusiasts, the MBRGI is organizing in-person and online charity art auctions to raise funds for the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign.

The live in-person auction, to be held in Dubai on Saturday, will display rare artworks by world-renowned contemporary artists and celebrities, and masterpieces from the personal collections of world leaders.

Headlining the auctioned items will be a piece of Kaaba cover (Kiswa), embroidered in gold and silver, donated by Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, in addition to works by the late African leader Nelson Mandela, artists Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro.

Simultaneously, a silent auction, running from April 20-30, enables the public to bid on 53 unique art pieces, exclusive experiences and items signed by international athletes, with proceeds also going to providing food aid for those in need.

The ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign falls under the humanitarian aid and relief pillar, which is one of the five pillars of the work of the MBRGI.

It is an expansion of the locally-held ‘10 Million Meals’ campaign that was launched last Ramadan to provide food support to empower COVID-19-hit groups across the country.

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