DUBAI // Residents are being urged to dig deep and donate to help feed the hungry.
The plea for aid is part of a year-long campaign launched on Thursday by Emirates National Oil Company (Enoc).
The initiative, Human Fuel, asks people to give generously at donation boxes set up at 80 Enoc and Eppco sites across Dubai.
“One dirham can feed a child for a day,” said Saeed Khoory, the chief executive of Enoc, after making the first donation at the station on Oud Metha Road.
“Our main effort is to raise awareness among everyone who walks into our stations, and we want to let people know that hunger is the largest solvable problem in the world.”
The money raised will go to the UN’s World Food Programme and Dubai Charity Association initiatives.
Mr Khoory said Enoc had not set specific fundraising targets.
“Our target is to maximise collection,” he said. “We don’t want to underestimate or overestimate how much we can raise. We are thinking of revealing how much we raise at the end of every month.”
The company does not have immediate plans to match donations made by residents.
“The campaign is for the public to donate,” Mr Khoory said. “We will also have an internal campaign for our employees to give money.”
The World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger, welcomed Enoc’s move to support its global programmes, which include school meals for children.
“Most Dubai residents go to Enoc stations once a week,” said Elise Bijon, the agency’s partnerships and business development manager for the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
“It gives our work outstanding visibility and an opportunity to raise awareness about global hunger among Dubai residents. One in eight people across the world go hungry every day.”
She said the campaign would go a long way to help combat global hunger.
“It is not a drop in the ocean,” she said. “Enoc is one of the most well-known brands and their efforts can make a tangible difference. Their platform is very valuable to raise awareness about solving hunger.”
Dubai Charity Association said the money would help its work for Emiratis and expatriates.
“We will concentrate on distributing food to poor families, labour camps and other needy people in the UAE,” said Ahmed Al Mismar, the secretary general.
He said it had yet to be decided how the donations would be split between the World Food Programme and his agency.
Motorists can give money at the sales counter or at the donation boxes at Enoc and Eppco stations.