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WFP Launches Arabic Version Of Award -Winning ShareTheMeal App To Feed Syrian Refugee Children During Ramadan

ROME – Smartphone users in the Arabic-speaking world can help feed Syrian refugee children in Lebanon with just a tap on their mobile phones through the innovative ShareTheMeal application, the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) announced today.

The launch of the ShareTheMeal app coincides with the arrival of the Holy month of Ramadan observed by Muslims around the world who fast from sunrise to sunset to understand how it feels to be less fortunate. In Ramadan, WFP is using ShareTheMeal to help feed Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.

With ShareTheMeal, users can do good whenever they want and wherever they are. They can “share” their meals while breaking their day-long fast with their families or when having hunger pangs from fasting during the day. With a donation as small as 50 cents, WFP can provide a child with nutritious food for a whole day.

“Every cultural and religious tradition in the world teaches us to care for the less privileged and to share what we have,” said WFP Lebanon Country Director and Representative, Dominik Heinrich. “The launch of the app in Arabic provides people in the Arabic speaking world with an easy way to do good deeds and share meals during the holy month of Ramadan, the month of generosity and giving.”

Since the launch of the English version of the app last year, more than 500,000 users worldwide have provided the equivalent of more than 5.6 million daily food rations to the poorest and hungriest around the world. The app has received several awards for its design and innovative character, including by Google who named it as one of the Best Apps of 2015.

“More people in the Arab world are using smartphones, with estimates that there will be more than 300 million users by 2020,” says Sebastian Stricker, Head of ShareTheMeal. “We made sure that the ShareTheMeal app is ready before the Holy month of Ramadan, a time when people are looking for ways to help those in need such as Syrian refugee children.”

Syrian refugee families in Lebanon receive food assistance through electronic vouchers or “e-cards”. Money raised through ShareTheMeal’s current fundraising goal will cover the rations for a full year for 1,400 Syrian children aged 3-4 years living in Beirut. The children’s parents will receive funds transferred to their regular WFP e-cards, allowing them to buy the foods they want in local shops, which also supports host communities and the economy.

The Arabic version of the app comes as ShareTheMeal plans to further increase and diversify access to the app by entering on a new market. It also reinforces its mission to accelerate efforts to reach a zero-hunger future by engaging as many smartphone users as possible. With the launch in Arabic speaking countries, an estimation of 117 million smartphone users will be able to download ShareTheMeal from app stores and donate to feed hungry children.

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ShareTheMeal allows smartphone users to share their meals with hungry people via a free iOS and Android app. ShareTheMeal is an initiative of the World Food Programme Innovation Accelerator.

Download the app here

For additional media material, see the press page

Learn more at sharethemeal.org

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_media, @ShareTheMealorg

For more information please contact (email address: firstname.lastname@wfp.org):
Abeer Etefa, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2600, Mob. +201066634352
Dina El-Kassaby, WFP/Cairo, Tel. +202 2528 1730 ext. 2614, Mob. +201015218882
Jane Howard, WFP/Rome, Tel. +39 06 65132321, Mob. +39 346 7600521
Gregory Barrow, WFP/London, Tel.  +44 20 72409001, Mob.  +44 7968 008474
Gerald Bourke, WFP/New York, Tel. +1-646-5566909, Mob.  +1-646 525 9982