Help stamp out world hunger

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What can Dhs1 buy you in Dubai? Probably not an awful lot: a bottle of water or a packet of chewing gum, perhaps. What about Dhs5? A couple of bananas, a packet of biscuits or a bottle of milk, depending on the supermarket you’re in. Dhs200 will get you at least a meal for two in a decent restaurant (without alcoholic beverages, of course).

Now let’s put that into perspective. A Dhs1 donation to the World Food Programme (WFP) – a United Nations organisation that aims to save lives and prevent global hunger through food aid and assistance – can provide a nutritious school meal for a child. Dhs5 can feed one underprivileged schoolchild for an entire week. Dhs200 can feed that child for an entire year, and send them home with monthly food rations for their whole family. It is thought that a billion people around the world go to bed hungry each night, while a third of all deaths in children under the age of five in developing countries is linked to a lack of food.

When we meet the WFP’s Dubai-based partnership and business development manager Elise Dijon and regional head of partnership Ashraf Hamouda for the first time, we’re already calculating the number of meals the cost of our Americano could have provided if we’d donated the money through the WFP website.

The duo, based near the new Dubai World Central development, explain that our city is the global hub for food aid distribution; we wonder how we hadn’t realised this sooner. WFP’s operations can be split into two categories: emergency response, concentrating on events such as the crisis in the Horn of Africa, which has been suffering severe food shortages for months; and development programmes, which cover education, health, agriculture, employment and women’s empowerment.

Over the past few years, the WFP has been able to streamline its operations around the world to take over parts of the operation that may normally require a middle man, allowing the organisation to get a far greater percentage of donations directly to where they’re needed, and allowing the people running things to know exactly what is becoming of their efforts.

If you want to see what impact your donation could have, however big or small, there’s an online tool to help you (www.wefeedback.org) that will calculate the impact the cost of your favourite food could have, and offers you the option to donate it. Why not find out how far your morning cup of coffee can go?
Make a donation at www.wfp.org/donate.

By Holly Sands
Time Out Dubai,

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