Souq.com, the largest online shopping mall in the Middle East, announces today its partnership with the World Food Programme, a United Nations organisation and the world's largest humanitarian agency, fighting hunger worldwide. In response to the increasingly desperate drought situation in the Horn of Africa and the conflict in Somalia, Souq.com has launched an internet-based fundraising campaign in all of its Middle East markets with an aim to support the World Food Programme’s relief efforts on the ground.
The World Food Programme (WFP) is implementing food operations in five countries of the Horn of Africa affected by the current drought situation: Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Uganda. WFP is rapidly moving life-saving food and nutritional products by sea, air and road with an aim to feed over 11.5 million people in each of these countries over the next six months. The organisation’s feeding programmes are particularly focusing on malnourished children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and refugees, identified as the most vulnerable communities.
Ronaldo Mouchawar, CEO of Souq.com says, “The current situation in the Horn of Africa is a tragedy and Souq.com has made it its’ mission to help the World Food Programme reach its aim by fostering a sense of responsibility towards humanity amongst visitors of our website and on our social media channels. It is our duty to help in any which way we can, especially during the holy month of Ramadan but also beyond”.
Ashraf Hamouda, Head of Partnership & Business Development of WFP for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf region, highlights the strategic role of internet in mobilizing public support in such emergency context, “WFP is at the forefront of the crisis hitting the Horn of Africa and is in urgent need of both public and private funding to scale up its operations in the region and reach out in time to millions of threatened lives. We are witnessing a global increase of online donations from generous individuals eager to support our relief operations. Their support is invaluable to us, knowing that only 50 US cents (1.8 dirham) can feed a mother and her child for one day in this part of the world. Through an innovative partnership scheme, Souq.com is using its core expertise to help us mobilize the Gulf region’s online communities for this cause, offering us a precious chance to feed more people and save more lives.”
Souq.com has over two million visitors on their website every month and encourages them to press the donate button, which is placed on the home page of the website, as often as possible to support the good cause. A direct link to the donation website will inform supporters with the latest updates, easy ways to donate, a regional background, images and videos displaying how the programme is helping people during the crisis.
Additionally, the Souq.com fundraising will also include a social media campaign on Facebook and Twitter, to try and increase donations and awareness of the WFP programme.