Combating coronavirus: Charities to provide meals at doorstep during Ramadan in UAE

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Food is seen before people break the fast on the first day of Ramadan in a Mosque in Bangkok, Thailand May 27, 2017. REUTERS/Jorge Silva - RTX37V03

Dar Al Ber Society, one of the UAE’s foremost charity organisations, has readied special teams to reach out to blue-collared workers in the country.

With no Iftar tents being set up this year during Ramadan, charities across the UAE are endeavouring differently to help the needy amid the pandemic situation.

Many organisations are delivering ready meals directly at labour accommodations, while others are distributing essential supplies so that people can cook to their own liking.

Dar Al Ber Society, one of the UAE’s foremost charity organisations, has readied special teams to reach out to blue-collared workers in the country.

“Iftar meals will be handed over to supervisors who will distribute them at workers’ accommodations as per hygiene protocols. A total of 11,000 meals are now being distributed daily and we are expecting it to increase during Ramadan,” said Juhi Yasmeen Khan, CSR and Charity Initiative Expert at the society. The charity has also been distributing hygiene kits consisting of sanitisers, face masks, soaps, toothpaste, toothbrush.

Dry supplies instead ?of ready meals

Handing over ready-made meals can be tricky, said the Pakistan Association Dubai (PAD), who are switching to giving out dry essential supplies this year. “We will be giving out 3,000 food packets this year, which is expected to increase during Ramadan as many people have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Mohsin Al Banna, general secretary of PAD.

“Earlier, we used to focus on fasting Muslims or people from the Pakistani community but our efforts are way beyond that now. We are embracing as many people as we can within our fold,” he added.

With the flurry of calls and emails that the community organisation has been receiving, doing backgrounds checks are becoming increasingly difficult, said Al Banna. “People who need help have soared this year. While 10 per cent of people are not genuine, we remind ourselves that there is still 90 per cent who are in need. I also believe that the Covid-19 crisis will change people’s perception for the better because we are helping everyone using Zakat funds.”

Food kits are for all

Volunteers from the Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC) have been working closely in coordination with the local authorities to fight the pandemic. And, with Ramadan around the corner, some of the volunteers have been allocated to cater to people’s needs during this period.

“We started volunteering since the coronavirus difficulties started. We have 250 volunteers, out which 100 volunteers are now exclusively working on Ramadan distributions. They adhere to the hygiene and sanitisation norms, rolled out by the authorities,” said Adv Ibrahim Khaleel, secretary and legal centre chairman of the Dubai chapter of KMCC. The centre receives requests for food through their helpline. Items provided as Ramadan rations include rice, flour oil, sugar, spices and other basic supplies.

“Our Ramadan food kits will reach those who’ve lost their jobs, people in quarantine and those fasting. We intend giving out 5,000 such kits during the holy month this year. We will also be giving out 5,000 Iftar meals every day.”