Hundreds of families in UAE to receive food for a month this Ramadan
Around 600 poor families have started receiving food packages during Ramadan, campaign organiser Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD) said.
The packages contain rice, cooking oil, flour, lentils, dates, sugar, ghee, tea and other items. These are meant to last a month for an average family of four, a PAD official said.
PAD started distributing coupons for the packages on Tuesday at its premises in Oud Metha. The coupons can be redeemed at Lulu Hypermarket in Sharjah, Al Wahda branch.
Present at the programme’s launch were officials from the Community Development Authority (CDA) and International Humanitarian City (IHC), PAD members and Pakistanis from the wider community.
Donations for more packages, which cost roughly Dh250-Dh300 a piece, are still coming in and it is possible the campaign will eventually help more than 600 families, said Rizwan Fancy, PAD’s ad-hoc committee chairman.
Last year, about 450 Ramadan food packages were distributed.
“The packages have almost all the necessary food items for an average family for about a month. I’m very thankful for donors’ support,” Fancy said.
He added that those wishing to receive a package must first register for the coupons with PAD at its Oud Metha office.
“We do very basic checks to see what their background is. There are a lot of deserving families out there, some of them are shy to come forward and pick up the package, which is also heavy. So the coupons this year is a good idea; they let you go to the store and collect the package.”
The campaign is being held in association with CDA, which has reached out to other social clubs to organise outreach programmes.
“The response from [PAD] was immediate. ‘We’re in,’ they said as soon as we approached them [before Ramadan],” said Palani Babu, manager of licensing authority, CDA.
“And it’s not only food packages but visits to prisoners and the elderly [for example]. The CDA, in partnership with others, is serving 100,000 people in Dubai.”
Shaima Al Zarouni, CEO of IHC, said: “I would like to thank [PAD], this reflects the spirit of Ramadan — giving and sharing with others. Pakistan and UAE have been brothers and sisters for ages. Helping and supporting each other in Ramadan — May God give you reward for this.”
Meanwhile, PAD officials revealed plans to establish a Pakistan Medical Centre that would charge “minimum” fees so needy patients of any nationality can receive medical attention.