Safaricom commits Kshs 200 million for provision of food and nutrition to vulnerable Kenyans

An employee serves a customer inside a mobile phone care centre operated by Kenyan's telecom operator Safaricom; in the central business district of Kenya's capital Nairobi, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Thomas Mukoya

Safaricom through its M-PESA and Safaricom Foundations has earmarked Kshs 200 million toward providing food and nutrition to Kenyans in need in response to the government’s request for emergency resource mobilization towards containing the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The financial commitment adds to the telco’s ongoing initiative under the “Bonga for Good programme that is enabling customers to redeem Safaricom Bonga Points to pay for essential goods and donate their points to those in need as a show of goodwill during this period. Currently, Kenyans are redeeming an average of 20 million points a day under this initiative.

Peter Ndegwa, the Safaricom CEO, said: “Safaricom is fully committed to supporting Kenya through the evolving situation around the COVID-19 pandemic. We have made business decisions that will enable our customers access more of our products and services for at either no cost or at a highly subsidized rate. These decisions will ensure Kenyans spend their money where they need it most.”

Michael Joseph, Chairman, M-PESA Foundation said: “Since our inception in 2010, the M-PESA Foundation has partnered with the Government and other organizations on large scale, long-term, and highly impactful social projects for the social and economic benefit of the people of Kenya. In the years we have been in existence, we have focused on making a meaningful impact by solving problems that societies face through addressing the underlying causes. Today we are making our contribution, which we believe will go a long way towards ensuring that no child goes to sleep hungry during this unprecedented crisis.

Joseph Ogutu, Chairman Safaricom Foundation said: “For more than 19 years, we have maintained our commitment of Transforming Lives, and creating opportunities for Kenyans to uplift their lives. We have always partnered with Government and humanitarian agencies to reduce suffering amongst those affected by disasters and complex emergencies. It is in our DNA to ensure that no one gets left behind, especially the vulnerable ones in the society.”

Ndegwa added that Safaricom had also made business decisions in the last three weeks since Kenyans were asked to stay at home that will enable our customers access more products and services either for free or at a highly subsidized rate. These decisions will ensure Kenyans spend their money where they need it most.

Safaricom continues to implement measures to cushion customers and Kenyans at large from negative impact, currently valued at Kshs 5.5 billion which. These include: zero-rated M-PESA Person to Person transactions below Kshs 1,000 over the next 3 months to reduce the risk of handling cash; zero-rated Paybill tills for government hospitals and dispensaries; double bandwidth offered on the telco’s fiber connections to home, giving customers an opportunity to work and learn from home and to get entertained;provision of concessional rates for data access to specific educational content for various universities and other learning institutions; and Safaricom Foundation’s donation of thermal cameras worth Kshs 10 million to the Ministry of Health installed in various entry points to our country.

Safaricom has further supported the government in the establishment and operation of a 24-7 COVID-19 Information Centre, leveraging the capabilities of its Customer Contact Centre. The firm is also hosting over 300 doctors to support its own frontline staff in educating, informing and managing the spread of COVID-19.

“At Safaricom, our most critical support to the country remains ensuring our network stability to keep the country connected.  We remain committed to working with all stakeholders to help our nation through this crisis,” Ndegwa added.
“Today we all face a common enemy. We can only win by supporting each other and standing with the less fortunate in our society. I urge us all to make a difference by contributing be it in cash or in kind towards supporting those among us in need.”  


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