On the occasion of World Food Day today, Dubai Cares, the UAE-based philanthropic organization providing children in developing countries with access to quality primary education, has announced it is providing on-site hot meals to 25,000 Somali refugee students in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP). The refugees are sheltered in United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) camps in Dollo Ado, Ethiopia, which, in the second half of 2012, have received more than 100,000 Somali refugees affected by the 2011 food crisis, described by the United Nations as the “worst in a generation”.
Running for 8 months, the program’s total cost is approximately AED1 million (USD270,000) and is funded partially by Dubai Cares and the UAE community’s donation to Dubai Cares’ 2011 “Dine Out for Somalia” campaign. The program will provide the 25,000 Somali refugee students in 5 camps in Dollo Ado with a daily hot school meal in the form of a porridge made with Supercereal (100 gr/person/day), a very high nutritious food fortified with vitamins and minerals, and sugar (20 gr/person/day). In Dollo Ado, school age children account for about 46% of the total refugee population, of which only 31% are attending school and school feeding programs. Schools in camps have morning and afternoon shifts to cover as many pupils as possible.
Commenting on the program, Tariq Al Gurg, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Cares, said: “Dubai Cares is pleased to be working with the World Food Programme to deliver to children affected by the crisis the nutrients they need to perform in school. Somalia has yet to recover from the malnutrition crisis that struck the country over a year ago; millions of people are still in need of help. We believe that even in these most difficult circumstances, a child’s education should not be interrupted; it is important for their own development as well as for their country’s recovery from this disaster.”
Al Gurg added: “I also want to take this opportunity to thank the UAE community for its support during our ‘Dine Out for Somalia’ campaign last year. Thanks to their contributions, thousands of children can begin to hope for a future free of poverty.”
In response to last year’s famine, Dubai Cares launched “Dine out for Somalia” in the UAE on World Food Day (October 16, 2011) to provide children in southern Somalia with much needed food and nutrition to prevent diseases and death caused by starvation. Approximately 80 brands from the UAE hospitality sector, specifically restaurants, supported the campaign by encouraging their customers to donate through their outlets. Alison Nelson’s Chocolate Bar won “Best Contributor” for raising the highest amount of funds.
To support Dubai Cares programs globally, donations can be made online on the Dubai Cares website www.dubaicares.ae.