UN appeals for help to feed families this Ramadan

A UN agency has called for donations to help ensure thousands of impoverished families across the Middle East have enough food to break their fast this Ramadan.

The World Food Programme (WFP) campaign hopes to raise funds from both Arab and Muslim countries to fight hunger during the holy month, during which devout Muslims fast from dawn to dusk.

“The objective is to create a chain of solidarity across all Arab and non-Arab Muslim countries,” the WFP said in an emailed statement.

To help spur giving, the Rotary Clubs of the UAE have pledged to match every dollar donated online to the WFP during the month of Ramadan.

A similar campaign last year raised enough funds to provide school meals to 400,000 children across the Middle East.

“For hundreds of thousands of families celebrating Ramadan this month, iftar is just a distant dream” said Elise Bijon, a WFP spokesperson for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe. “We are calling on everyone to join the fight against world hunger this Ramadan.”

The WFP is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, last year delivering food aid to more than 97 million people in 80 countries. Nearly half of the agency’s beneficiaries are in Muslim countries, with Syria and Yemen among its largest operations.

The WFP in June warned that families in Syria were increasingly resorting to begging for food in order to cope with shortages and high food prices.

The aid agency is currently feeding more than 2 million people inside Syria, and more than 1 million refugees in neighbouring countries who have fled the fighting.

Donations to the World Food Programme can be made online at wfp.org/Ramadan