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"Billion Meals" initiative supported by UNHCR

The UN subsidiary joins this Emirati project to provide and offer food and basic resources to the most needy people in 50 countries
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PHOTO/One Billion Meals  -   Organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI), the campaign is an extension of the UAE's previous '100 Million Meals' Ramadan campaign

As every year, the United Arab Emirates hosts one of the largest campaigns of its kind in the region, the "Billion Meals" initiative. It is one of the most successful campaigns in the region, which aims to provide basic services and food support to the most vulnerable and needy people in society. They also dedicate a large part of their services to refugees, displaced people and those affected by humanitarian crises and natural disasters. In addition to operating in the Gulf country itself, its aid also extends to 50 other countries for those most in need.

This year, the initiative is supported by one of the world's leading relief organisations. UNHCR, a subsidiary of the UN (United Nations), has joined the Billion Meals operational partner group to provide its service and support to make the campaign a success.

"Our partnership with the Billion Meals initiative aims to alleviate the suffering of refugees who have been forced to flee their home countries and have lost everything," said Khaled Khalifa, UNHCR's representative to the GCC (Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf).

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AFP/ ASHRAF SHAZLY - Ethiopian refugee in Um Raquba camp in Sudan's eastern Gedaref province.

With the support of UNHCR, as well as other organisations joining the cause, the joint effort to increase opportunities and resources will be greatly expanded. With this, food and medicine can be distributed more widely.

UNHCR also aims to meet a number of other objectives in addition to those set by the initiative. The UN subsidiary wants to provide direct support to disadvantaged people, in addition to achieving the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. Within this campaign, one of its points is to eradicate hunger worldwide in order to create a clean and sustainable planet, where no food is wasted. 

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Organisation's logo

"This multi-year partnership helps to achieve the zero hunger target in the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations for 2030. In turn, we will continue to expand the circle of our regional partners and international partnerships to achieve the UAE's focus on the sustainability of charitable and humanitarian work and expand its frameworks and partnerships as much as possible," commented Sara Al Nuaimi, Director of MBRGI (Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives).

The foundation is a core member of the Billion Meals committee, which provides support through charities and the Emirates Food Bank. It ensures that more than 1 billion meals reach the neediest groups in society through life-changing support and food security for millions of people over the years. 

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PHOTO/WAM - Emirates aid to Yemen

"The regional and global partnerships of our initiatives aim to bring the impact of humanitarian action to the broadest and most far-reaching level and ensure access to the largest possible segment of its beneficiaries around the world," added Al Nuaimi. 

"Our cooperation with MBRGI in last year's 100 Million Meals campaign helped secure around 56.5 million meals in Palestine, Somalia and refugee camps in Jordan and Bangladesh, through the use of advanced cash transfers that allowed beneficiaries to compare a variety of nutritious foods in local markets. We look forward to continuing our successful partnership together in the 1 Billion Meals initiative to address the challenge of hunger around the world," said Mageed Yahia, representative of the UN World Food Programme.

Another partnership that has also lent its support to the cause is the Emirates Group. They have recently announced that they will participate through a donation of five million dirhams, which will go directly to help alleviate the hunger of many people on a daily basis.