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Gala Dinner in support of the UN World Food Programme raises more than one million dirhams to support the fight against world hunger


DUBAI - A fundraising Gala Dinner and Auction was held in Dubai on Wednesday, April 17 th , at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed al Maktoum, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline & Group, president of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and Chairman of Dubai Airports. Supported by some of Dubai's most prominent families and brands, the event gathered over 350 high-profile guests to support the food assistance operations carried out by the UN World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria, Yemen and India.

Attending this event as a Guest of Honor, His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan , Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development of the United Arab Emirates, made ​​a substantial donation to WFP on that occasion and Praised the mobilization of the families and corporations united that evening for the cause: " Strength and resolve do make a difference. Since 1990, the number of Underfed people has fallen by 130 million. The World Food Programme has been responsible for most of that positive statistic, and our individual financial contributions to the program have helped to enable its good work . " Reminding the audience that hunger is Solvable, His Excellency urged individuals and companies to sustain their support in that perspective: " Some day mankind may Succeed in eliminating hunger from the face of the earth. To be sure, that long campaign will not come to an end in our lifetime. But it must be waged in our lifetime. We must make Ourselves strong and vigorously drive the campaign toward success. The challenge before us is immense. And yet we are fortunate to live in an age where we believe in the power of collective action, where faith in the goodness of each other combines with our belief that we can effect change . "

Initiated by young philanthropist and Director of Dubai-based corporation World of Electricals, Mukund Menda, along with his father Mahesh Menda, and organized with the help of a committee of influential Dubai residents and event company Platinum, this non-for-profit event generated a total donation of over one million dirhams from participating guests and companies. Representatives from Platinum partner Rajen Kilachand Family, Gold partner Zuma Restaurant, Silver partner Porsche Middle East, Bronze partner Apparel Group and Special partner World of Electricals were among the event's high-profile guests, joining forces alongside WFP to ensure that as many underprivileged families as possible benefit from this mobilization.

An important part of the donations made ​​that evening was generated by a charity auction featuring first class open tickets donated by Emirates Airlines, pieces of jewelry from Khalil Al Sayegh, artwork from the Barjeel Art Foundation and Artist Faiza Taymour Shaikh, a two-night stay in the Presidential and Executive Suites of JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, timepieces from Roger Dubuis, luxury handbags from Amanda Navai, concierge services from Louis Fourteen and a three-day stay and wellness programme at Six Senses Resort, Zighy Bay.

Addressing guests in his speech, Mr. Menda reiterated the core motive driving this initiative: " Each and every one of us tonight is a living illustration of Dubai's success story. While some have started their careers with more or less capital and luck - some of us came to Dubai decades ago with a just few dollars in their pocket and a lot of courage - we are all very much aware that our respective ambitions could have not grown and led us to where we are now without a daily access to basic food. Today it is our moral duty to lend a helping hand to those who do not enjoy that chance, following the steps of the UAE's benevolent leaders, because no dreams and no vision can be built on empty stomachs . "

In Dubai to attend this event, WFP Yemen Country Director, Bishow Parajuli, declared on behalf of WFP: " This event captures the generosity of some of Dubai's leading brands and personalities and is the product of months of hard volunteer work. We are immensely grateful to all those who made ​​it possible and who, through their donation and dedication, will make a tangible impact in the lives of thousands of men, women and children in need in Syria, Yemen and India. We hope the success of this event will mark the beginning of a long-term alliance with each of its supporters and inspire other UAE residents and corporations to take action and join us in the fight against world hunger . "

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian organization fighting hunger worldwide. Each year, on average, WFP feeds over 90 million people in more than 70 countries. In Syria, WFP is scaling up its emergency operations to reach 2.5 million people this month. In Yemen, where the child malnutrition rates are among the highest in the world, WFP is providing crucial food assistance to 5 million beneficiaries. In India, WFP is assisting the Government in enhancing its public food distribution system, one of the largest in the world.