MBRGI Pledges US$8.1 million to UNICEF to Help Fight Malnutrition among Children and Women
UAE, Dubai – 17 January 2024: The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) signed a commitment to partnering with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), with the aim of enhancing life conditions and providing a nutrition safety net for vulnerable children and women around the world, especially in crisis-affected countries where malnutrition is a serious issue.
Through this commitment to partnership, signed on the sidelines of MBRGI’s participation in the World Economic Forum, held in Davos Switzerland from 15 and 19 January 2024, both MBRGI and UNICEF hope to ensure vulnerable children and women access the essential nutrition services they need to protect them from malnutrition and achieve their long term development potential.
Under this partnership, MBRGI joins other global partners including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Children Investment Fund Foundation, pledging of US$8.1 million funds toward the UNICEF-led Child Nutrition Fund (CNF) - a new financing mechanism designed to accelerate the scale-up of sustainable policies, programmes and supplies to end child wasting. The funding will enable critical nutrient supplements and therapeutic treatment to reach more than 270,000 children and women over the next three years, in line with MBRGI’s aims of fighting hunger and malnutrition and helping underprivileged populations around the world.
A Comprehensive Framework
Dr Abdulkareem Al Olama, CEO of MBRGI said: “MBRGI’s support of the Child Nutrition Fund by UNICEF to end child wasting around the world, reflects our recognition of the seriousness of child malnutrition and its effects on development and progress, and our confidence that CNF’s comprehensive framework is capable of affecting a meaningful and sustainable change in terms of preventing and treating child wasting.
“Our partnership with UNICEF highlights the UAE’s leading humanitarian role. The pledged AED 30 million to CNF to provide micronutrient supplements and meals to over 270,000 children and women over the next 3 years is an extension of MBRGI’s collaboration with international organizations to create sustainable solutions that address this issue,” he added.
Supporting Vulnerable Communities
“UNICEF is grateful to commence this partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives and for their support to maternal and child nutrition programmes in vulnerable communities,” said UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Kitty van der Heijden. “Good nutrition is the bedrock of child survival, growth, and development. Well-nourished children are better able to grow, develop and learn to their full potential. They are also more resilient in the face of illness and crisis. In partnership with MBRGI, UNICEF will achieve critically needed nutrition outcomes for children and women.”
This partnership between MBRGI and UNICEF is a commitment to a brighter future for the most vulnerable children and women, and testament to the power of collaboration in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the face of increasing global challenges such as inequities, conflict, and climate crises.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), undernourishment causes the death of 1.3 million children every year – that’s 45% of total children’s deaths. On the other hand, 52 million children under 5 years of age are wasted, 17 million are severely wasted, 155 million are stunted and 41 million are overweight or obese.
MBRGI manages dozens of initiatives and establishments that implement humanitarian programs around the world under five key pillars: Humanitarian Aid & Relief, Healthcare and Disease Prevention, Spreading Education & Knowledge, Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and Empowering Communities. In 2022, MBRGI spent AED 1.4 billion on projects across these pillars, benefiting 102 million people in 100 countries. Humanitarian Aid & Relief spending amounted to AED 910 million, reaching 30.2 million people.
Under this pillar, MBRGI also conducted a series of food aid campaigns that started with the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign in Ramadan 2020 as the first and largest show of social solidarity, helping those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was followed by the ‘100 Million Meals’ campaign in 2021 that extended its reach to 20 countries across Africa and Asia, and the ‘1 Billion Meals’ campaign of 2022 which distributed meals in 50 countries around the world, highlighting UAE’s efforts to end hunger. Most recently, MBRGI launched the ‘1 Billion Meals Endowment’ initiative in Ramadan 2023, which aims to establish the largest sustainable food aid endowment fund.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.