Matching Generosity Helps WFP Provide Tens Of Thousands Of Meals To School Children

Published on 24 September 2012

DUBAI – The UN World Food Programme (WFP) closed its Ramadan fundraising and awareness campaign with enough online donations – when matched by the Rotary Club of Dubai – to provide 400,000 school meals to underprivileged school children.

Launched on the first days of Ramadan, the gift-matching campaign mobilised the region’s online community enabling WFP to provide school meals for an entire year to 2,000 children in the Middle East, with a focus on the occupied Palestinian territories, Egypt and Yemen.

“‘WFP is very grateful to the Rotary Club of Dubai for matching donations made online throughout the month, and to its youth arm Dubai Rotaract for its continuous support,” said Partnerships & Business Development Manager for WFP in the Middle East and North Africa Elise Bijon. “We look forward to pursuing and expanding this partnership through future campaigns as well as bringing more Clubs on board.”

WFP, the Rotary Club of Dubai and Dubai Rotaract - in association with the UAE Red Crescent Authority - launched the campaign on the first days of the Muslim holy month. The Rotary Club of Dubai is matching every dollar (four dirhams) donated to WFP through a dedicated Ramadan page.

Online donations came from around 30 different countries across the world with the United Arab Emirates coming first by number and value of donations, followed by the United States, the United Kingdom, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Canada and the Sultanate of Oman. 

“The fight against child hunger certainly appealed to many people especially during the fasting month of Ramadan,” Bijon said. “Almost half of WFP’s beneficiaries are in Muslim countries and we hope to have a similar campaign next year that would involve more Muslim countries in the Middle East and Asia.”

During Ramadan and via the campaign page, WFP Ambassador Against Hunger Hend Sabry and WFP Celebrity Partner Sami Yusuf recorded special video messages urging people to seize the gift-matching opportunity and double their donations.

Dubai-based communication agencies Pirana, Edelman and lent their respective expertise and technical support to help roll out the campaign and reach out to potential individuals and corporate donors.

WFP school meals are an incentive for poor parents to send their children to school, while allowing kids to better focus in class and grow strong and healthy. 
In 2011, WFP provided school meals to around 26 million children in 60 countries across the world. There are currently 66 million primary school-age children who attend classes hungry across the developing world. Another 67 million school-age children do not attend school at all.

For the past 45 years, WFP’s school meals  programme have benefited millions of children around the globe,   some of whom went on to become renowned champions and community leaders.
For more information please contact (email address:
Elise Bijon, WFP/Dubai, Tel. +971 4 454 9560, Mob. +971 55 516 3280
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +2 010 666 34352
Reem Nada, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2610, Mob. +2 010 666 34522