VIDEO: Sheikha Hind named Humanitarian of the Year 2020 at the Arab Woman Awards - GulfToday

VIDEO: Sheikha Hind named Humanitarian of the Year 2020 at the Arab Woman Awards


The Arab Woman Award with Sheikha Hind's name engraved on it.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter


Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Juma Al Maktoum, wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of UAE Food Bank, was named the Humanitarian of the Year 2020 at the Arab Woman Awards UAE for her leadership of the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign.


The UAE’s biggest food distribution drive provided 15.3 million meals and food parcels to support low-income families and individuals affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak during the Holy Month of Ramadan.


Launched under the umbrella of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives (MBRGI) in collaboration with the Social Solidarity Fund Against COVID-19, the nationwide campaign received massive donations from 180,000 individuals and entities from 116 nationalities and attracted 1,500 volunteers in only three weeks.


Sheikh Mohammed took to twitter to praise Sheikha Hind for her achievement. “We congratulate Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum Bin Jumah Al Maktoum for being named the Humanitarian of the Year 2020 at the Arab Woman Awards UAE in partnership with UN Women for successfully leading the ‘10 Million Meals’ campaign at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Hind is the closest person to people and the fastest philanthropist,” tweeted Sheikh Mohammed.


The Arab Woman Awards is held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak al Nahyan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, in partnership with UN Women, the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.


It comes in recognition for Sheikha Hind’s longstanding philanthropic and social contributions, primarily her efforts in empowering women across different fields including skills development, innovation, entrepreneurship and sports. The award also celebrates her initiatives targeted at empowering orphans and people of determination.


Sheikha Hind has been leading the UAE Food Bank since it launched in 2017 as an integrated humanitarian system that collects surplus food from restaurants, the hospitality sector and food establishments, to redistribute it to people in need across the country. Under her leadership, the UAE Food Bank has signed numerous partnerships with government, private and charity organisations to expand its outreach to people in need across the country.


In 2019 alone, the bank distributed 13,448 tonnes of food supplies to laborers and low-income individuals and families.


Social response


Commenting on the recognition, Sheikha Hind said, “Sheikh Mohammed is the main supporter of the various humanitarian initiatives that continue to cement the UAE’s status as a beacon of hope and a pioneer in creating a better future for humanity.”


10-Million-Meal-2-750x450 Volunteers prepare meal boxes for the distribution. File


She added, “Emirati women have adopted the values of compassion and generosity from our leaders who have taught us to aid people in need, empower the vulnerable and actively contribute to building stable and safe societies.”


Sheikha Hind highlighted the Emirati women’s profound contribution in public affairs, academic, research, social, economy, sports, entrepreneurship and media.


She praised the UAE’s women empowerment strategy effectively executed with the support and directives of the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Sheikh Mohamed. Through their pioneering strategies, the country’s leaders aim to involve all segments of the society in achieving sustainable development.


Sheikha Hind noted that “the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign, launched under the directives of Sheikh Mohammed, has marked a milestone in the country’s longstanding record of humanitarian work. The campaign has created a noble form of solidarity during the critical times posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and has set a global example of how all segments of the society can unite in the face of crises.”


She stressed that the 10 Million Meals campaign has contributed to ranking the UAE among the top countries in the world, and the first in the region, for its coronavirus response.


Well-deserved recognition


Sheikh Nahyan said, “The Humanitarian of the Year award presents a well-deserved recognition for Sheikha Hind’s leading role in supporting, developing and institutionalizing humanitarian work.”


He added, “As Sheikh Mohammed once said, Sheikha Hind is very close to people. Her decades-long philanthropic work through major social and humanitarian initiatives and campaigns have touched lives.” 


10-Million-mela-1-750x450 Volunteers distribute meal boxes. File


He noted, “Announcing Sheikha Hind as the Humanitarian of the Year demonstrates the solid impact of the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign in providing social support to thousands of low-income individuals and families at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis that caused a national lockdown. These extensive efforts reflect Sheikha Hind’s relentless dedication to humanitarian work to foster cooperation and coexistence across different society segments.”


Sheikh Nahyan stressed that “Sheikha Hind Bint Maktoum is an inspiring role model of an Emirati and Arab woman who believes that every woman plays an active role in empowering society.”


Dr Moez Doraid, UN Women Regional Director, Arab States, said, “Women’s leadership is crucial to ensure that no one is left behind in the global response to COVID-19. The ‘10 Million Meals’ campaign led by Sheikha Hind demonstrates the impact of Emirati women’s leadership.”


He added “The UAE has an important role to play in supporting the regional and global implementation of Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goal 5: achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.”


10 Million Meals


The Arab Woman Awards, which highlights inspirational and outstanding Arab females in different areas, has focused this year on celebrating women who positively contributed to improving lives during the COVID-19 crisis.


Sheikh Hind’s selection as the Humanitarian of the Year came after a unanimous decision of the Judges Board in recognition for her leadership of the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign that set a regional and global example of establishing social solidarity in the face of crises.


The UAE’s biggest food distribution drive united charity organizations, private companies, businessmen and the public across the UAE towards aiding the vulnerable amid COVID-19 crisis.


Charity organisations contributed with donations to provide 6.8 million meals, while companies and businessmen contributed with the value of 5.7 million meals.


The campaign’s website received donations to provide 1.4 million meals, and the value of about 771,000 meals came from SMS donations. The call center received in-kind donations that exceeded 726,000 meals.


World’s Tallest Donation Box


In support of the ’10 Million Meals’ campaign, the World’s Tallest Donation Box was launched to illuminate Burj Khalifa’s 1.2 million lights, donating one meal for each light, in a gesture of global solidarity with people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.


Contributions to the World’s Tallest Donation Box initiative lit up the 163-storey Burj Khalifa in one week, garnering global media attention for its innovative symbol of hope and unity as the world passes through one of its biggest challenges in modern history. 




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