More than 5,000 UAE volunteers, including young children, elderly and people of determination, came together to prepare 20,000 relief packages as part of the ‘Tarahum for Gaza’ campaign.

Launched and supervised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs along with the Emirates Red Crescent, World Food Programme, the Ministry of Community Development, Dubai Cares and 20 charity and humanitarian institutions, the campaign collected 450 tonnes of relief goods for the war-hit Palestinians in Gaza this week.

The relief packets were prepared at various locations, including the Festival Arena in Dubai, Al Bayt Mitwahid Centre in Sharjah, and Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi.

Taking advantage of the weekend and school holiday break, hundreds of UAE national and expatriate families and their children flocked to the Festival Arena in Dubai Festival City on Sunday to join the noble cause. Children as young as six and elderly aged 60 came with a passion and vigour for the noble work.

Since the launch of the of ‘Tarahum for Gaza’ programme, 58,000 relief packages weighing around 1,250 tonnes of food, medical and other materials have been prepared.

This campaign is part of the UAE’s efforts to support the war-hit Palestinian people and alleviate their suffering. Thousands of people, including children, have died in the conflict, which started earlier this month. The United Nations on Sunday warned that thousands more could die as Israel said the war has entered the “second stage” and intensified attacks on Gaza.

People in Gaza, especially children, are in desperate need of food and medical supplies, but the efforts are hampered by the border restrictions and other challenges faced by the UN and other aid agencies to supply aid to people in need.

Abdulla Ahmed Alshehhi, chief operating officer of Dubai Cares, said volunteers separately packed baskets for food, babies and women in the second edition of the campaign on Sunday. “In the first edition, around 7,500 boxes were and this time, we are expecting thousands of boxes as well… We had volunteers from multiple nationalities, including kids, the elderly and people of determination, coming for the campaign,” he said.

Mageed Yahia, director for the GCC region at the World Food Programme in Dubai, stressed that given the situation in Gaza, the UAE people and institutions should contribute food that can easily be consumed as there are no fuel or cooking facilities available.

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