By Chris Njoku
Leveraging its technology and wide network of drivers, Uber is working with Mastercard on a region-wide initiative meant to support COVID-19 frontline workers across the Middle East and Africa, including Nigeria.
In what is a benchmark partnership for the ride-hailing giant, it will be providing 120,000 free trips and meals to those supporting communities amid the pandemic.
Uber is looking to provide those who are supporting communities and the many frontline workers who need to be mobile access to a reliable and efficient way of getting around as COVID-19 cases continue to escalate.
Once qualifying workers have successfully signed up through Uber’s website, they can arrange transportation to and from their homes and to where they are needed, such as healthcare facilities or
to feed the vulnerable. Uber has also shared relevant health information with its drivers to ensure they are well-informed in COVID-19 related safety protocols and have been provided with masks and sanitizer reimbursements, the company said.
“It is our role to help society by providing relief, especially those who work tirelessly to support our communities,” said Anthony le Roux Regional, Uber’s General Manager for MEA. “This is the largest partnership for us across the region and we are amazed at Mastercard’s relentless effort to make a difference.”
Mastercard has been helping people around the world navigate these challenging times. While ensuring that its network remains secure, resilient, and reliable, the company is also applying its technology, philanthropy, and data science expertise to rebuild healthy communities and ensure that economic growth is inclusive, it said.
As millions of people across the world come together to support, feed, and protect their communities, Mastercard is extending its support to help those who help others. “With our partner Uber, we are committed to supporting healthcare and essential workers who are working tirelessly to take care of us… together we are focused on helping frontline workers across the region feel confident and safe
with access to free transportation,” Mastercard MEA’s Executive Vice President for Market Development, Amnah Ajmal said.
Prior to the partnership with Mastercard, Uber recently signed an agreement with the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to support the Nigerian President’s COVID field team with rides in the country.
The partnership is targeted at mobilizing transportation of needed food parcels to over 260 identified food banks, to bring necessary relief and support for up to 70,000 households via the foodbank distributions and allow over 3 million school kids to be fed. The initiatives supporting governmental response teams towards curbing the outbreak are part of Uber’s global pledge to help communities in need to “Move What Matters.”