MATATO, NBAM, Coca-Cola to feed the homeless during Ramadan

Migrant workers wear face masks as they carry food packages amid a lockdown on Male' City on April 22, 2020. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Maldives Association of Travel Agents and Tour Operators (MATATO) and National Boating Association of Maldives (NBAM) has announced a collaboration to provide food to locals and migrants who have been rendered homeless amid the COVID-19 outbreak, and are being housed in temporary shelters in Male’ and Hulhumale’, during the holy month of Ramadan.

MATATO and NBAM are running the initiative in association with Coca-Cola.

In a joint press statement, MATATO and NBAM noted that the holy month of Ramadan this year comes with many rendered homeless and without access to food, and that without the help of the Maldivian community, they would not have access to sufficient food and would fall sick or face more dire consequences.

They announced that they therefore running an initiative in association with Coca-Cola to provide food for 500 people during the 30 days of Ramadan.

They said they had secured a kitchen to prepare food in Male’ with the assistance of Salsa Catering, and was working on preparing a kitchen in suburban Hulhumale’ as well.

They said the food to those in shelters would be distributed in collaboration with the Maldivian government, and that the opportunity was open for those who wish to volunteer to take part in the food distribution.

Both MATATO and NBAM are non-profits which have been operating in the tourism industry for over a decade, and have been collaborating with the government to identify ways overcome the social and economic challenges facing Maldives in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The greater Male’ area went under lockdown following the emergence of virus cases in the capital on April 15, and since then, the government has rescued and provided shelter and food to some 87 people.

The government has also pledged to assist residents of other islands who remain stranded in Male’ due to the lockdown, and the people being evicted from their homes due to failure to pay rent.