UGANDA: MTN customers contribute sh21.9m to Red Cross to fight Covid-19

Ugandans have responded to a call by the Uganda Red Cross society and have contributed sh21.9m towards the society’s efforts in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The contributions were made through a MoMoPay merchant code that MTN Uganda launched in April as one of the telecom company’s interventions in the fight against the deadly virus.

Through the merchant code *165*3*191919#, MTN customers are in a position to make donations of any amount toward the efforts to combat covid19.

Robert Kwesiga, the General Secretary Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) said at the launch of the Merchant code that the donations would be used to procure and provide essential food assistance to the most vulnerable households whose livelihoods, from their informal jobs, have been adversely affected by the partial lockdown instituted in response to COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda. This is to complement government efforts.

Speaking after receiving the money from MTN Uganda on behalf of Red Cross, Dr. Josephine Okwera, the Director of Health and Social Services at URCS was elated that Ugandans had responded positively to the call, but said the struggle is still on and needs more generous Ugandans to come on board.

“We would really like to thank the community for responding to our call. This money will go a long way in making the lives of some people easier during this hard time. But as you are all aware, the lockdown has been extended so we call upon more Ugandans to come on board so we can rescue those that are worst hit due to the lockdown,” Okwera said.

MTN Uganda’s Senior Manager corporate affairs and Public Relations, Rhona Arinaitwe reiterated the company’s commitment to stand together with Ugandans by doing everything it can to reduce the impact that COVID-19 is having on their lives. 

She committed that, “MTN Uganda will continue to look at ways of supporting our communities and the government, to ensure that together, we do everything feasible to get through this difficult time.”

Arinaitwe, further noted that the merchant code *165*3*191919# will remain open to the public who wish to donate towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The money collected from the merchant code henceforth will be channeled to the National COVID-19 Task Force to support their efforts in alleviating the devastating effects of the pandemic.

MTN Uganda, like other organisations responded to the government’s call to support her efforts in the COVID-19 fight. MTN zero-rated mobile money sending transactions of any amount, contributed shs290m to Uganda Red Cross Society to support the society’s efforts and contributed another shs220m to National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) to deliver water to water-stressed communities in and around Kampala.

The telecom company also handed over three brand new pickup trucks to the COVID-19 task force as a response to the President’s call for cars. 

MTN Uganda also provisioned a toll-free number 919 for the public to call the Ministry of Health teams and get assistance related to COVI-19.
This is in addition to the existing 0800203033 and 0800100066 toll-free lines that the public is calling to get help.

MTN Uganda has zero-rated several learners’ websites to complement efforts to educate and keep children engaged during the quarantine period.

This means MTN data customers don’t need MBs to access the sites available at at home and the ministry of health website to facilitate the flow of information.