UAE Food Bank’s initiatives and programs touch lives of over 18.6 mln people worldwide in 2023

Photo credit: WAM

The UAE Food Bank, which falls under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives, announced its annual results for 2023, highlighting impactful programs and initiatives that benefited over 18.6 million people worldwide, WAM reports.

Established with the goal of distributing surplus food to those in need and reducing food waste, the UAE Food Bank received support from 800 donors in 2023, including local and international charities and food establishments. In the same year, the Bank organised 105 awareness programs, engaging nearly 9,843 participants and involving 1,800 volunteers.

Furthermore, the UAE Food Bank’s annual results revealed that it received approximately AED14.7 million in funds and made a significant positive environmental impact by diverting 6,000 tons of food from landfills. Aligned with its goal to achieve a 30% reduction in food waste by 2027, these endeavors contributed to lowering environmental pollution and emissions associated with food waste.

Dawoud Al Hajri, Deputy Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank, said that the Bank's 2023 results are a testament to the directives and follow up of 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 the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of the UAE Food Bank.

The Bank's mission is to provide food to beneficiaries by efficiently managing surplus food and reducing waste, adhering to organised and sustainable principles, and ensuring the highest quality delivery to beneficiaries worldwide, he said.

“The UAE Food Bank operates as part of a long-term plan that seeks to provide food to beneficiaries through humanitarian initiatives and programs. This commitment ensures both sustainability and the delivery of high-quality food. Positioned as a globally recognised food bank, the UAE Food Bank functions under a robust and sustainable framework, supporting the UAE's ambition to lead the Global Food Security Index by 2051, in line with the objectives of the National Food Security Strategy 2051,” Al Hajri said.

Manal Bin Yaroof, Head of the Executive Team of the UAE Food Bank, highlighted that the results for 2023 surpassed the performance indicators by 100% of the set targets. The Bank distributed over 18.6 million meals, exceeding the target of 12 million meals. Additionally, the percentage of volunteers participating in the bank's initiatives and activities surpassed 100%, with the engagement of 1,800 volunteers.

Throughout the year, the Food Bank collected a diverse range of food items, encompassing fruits and vegetables, prepared meals, rice, wheat and its derivatives, pasta, meat, dairy products, cheese products, other grocery items, chocolate and water.

During the same year, the UAE Food Bank engaged in a range of local and international events with a focus on humanitarian work, charity, sustainability and the environment. The Bank served as a golden partner at the Grace Preservation First Global Conference and took part in significant events such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28), Gulf Food Exhibition (Gulfood), Dubai International Food Safety Conference and Food Industry Forum.

The UAE Food Bank's extensive series of initiatives and programs has positioned it as a prominent contributor to humanitarian activities on a global scale. Collaborating with partners, the Bank actively engaged in numerous humanitarian projects and initiatives, aiming to provide relief and assistance to individuals in need across the world.

As part of relief campaigns in response to the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the UAE Food Bank delivered approximately 293 tons of food to the Emirates Red Crescent. Additionally, it provided aid in the form of 54 tons of food items to Libya following floods, and contributed another 60 tons as part of the ‘Compassion for Gaza’ relief campaign.

In 2023, the UAE Food Bank entered more than 32 strategic partnerships with public and private sector institutions, humanitarian organisations, charities and food establishments. These partnerships include 25 agreements focused on providing surplus food, three collaborations dedicated to reducing food wastage and contributing funds, and an agreement dedicated to recycling food waste.

Aligned with the 2023-2027 strategic plan, the UAE Food Bank implements initiatives and humanitarian activities while addressing the reduction of food waste through partnerships aimed at efficiently managing surplus food. Moreover, it contributes to the National Food Security Strategy 2051 by collaborating to support local farmers and extending the footprint of the bank globally. The Bank also establishes partnerships for the assessment and implementation of various consultation plans and collaborates extensively with a diverse network of Arab and international food banks.

Since its inception in 2017 until the end of 2023, the UAE Food Bank has distributed over 68 million meals, equivalent to 60,000 tons of surplus food distributed. Additionally, it organised 367 events, workshops and campaigns, forging collaborations with 232 strategic partners and formalising five Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with regional food banks.

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