Careem, the region’s leading ride-hailing app, has announced the total amount of donations collected through its region-wide initiative, dedicated to helping MENA refugees in partnership with the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
“We are extremely proud to announce that, thanks to the dedication of our customers and hard work of our Captains, we have raised more than USD 100K in donations, through our UNHCR car type,” said Abdulla Elyas, CPO and Co-Founder of Careem.
We launched this campaign during Ramadan with the aim of running it for one month only. We were overwhelmed to see the donations pour in even after Eid and decided to keep it running till the end of the year. This not only goes to show the generosity of the region but their proactivity and willingness to help.
The UNHCR car type, which is the same as an economy car type, enables customers to donate a predetermined amount to support refugees through UNHCR. It is active in the UAE and KSA where customers donate AED 3 and SAR 3 respectively. In Jordan, Careem donates 5% of the trip price to UNHCR when customers enter a promo code.
To help maximise efforts, Careem matched all donations raised during the period of Ramadan.
The funds, which were donated by Careem customers and matched by Careem, managed to have an important impact on the everyday lives of refugees.
The USD100K will be providing support to 89 Syrian and Iraqi refugee families (an approximate 4.2 person family, meaning 373 refugees in total) based in Lebanon and Jordan, through cash assistance, for a complete duration of 6 months.
This cash-based assistance is used by refugees to obtain the basic necessities, most importantly food, health access and housing.
Statistics show that the majority of the cash assistance for Syrian and non-Syrian refugees was used for financial stability and purchasing of food, shedding light on just how extreme their living conditions are.
“The refugee crisis is one of the worst crises of our time and we in the Middle East should continue doing everything we can to help provide dignity and empowerment to refugees,” said Nadia Rouchdy, Head of Sustainability and Social Impact, Careem.
It’s important for the private sector, especially here in the Middle East, to understand the positive impact they can have and work towards solving the plight of refugees, as it’s a fundamental human issue.
Rouchdy went on to say that with the longstanding partnership with UNHCR, which was established last year, they would also be working across a wider range of initiatives to help and empower refugee communities.
Our mission is to simplify and improve the lives of people – that is the basic reason we exist and this goes beyond our Customers, Captains and Colleagues and includes every single individual in our region, especially the ones who need it the most.
“It’s easy to feel helpless as an individual when faced with the enormity of the needs and vulnerabilities of refugees, but if anything, this collaboration proves what we can achieve when we come together as a community, and make every dollar count. We are always grateful when organizations such as Careem use their platform to have a greater social impact and join our cause to help fight for a better world for refugees. This is a unique and first of its kind partnership, which pays testament to the fact that when we work together, we can find innovative ways to make a difference,” said Omer Elnaiem, UNHCR.
Cash Assistance helps give refugees dignity as it empowers them to purchase what is most important to them at any given point in time rather than being handed items they may not urgently need. We have a long way to go, especially now, since it is the winter season and our efforts to save lives need to be multiplied but every kind act matters and for this we are grateful.
Rouchdy also added that while the donations collected in 2017 were incredible, refugees are still vulnerable and funds are dwindling.
Our UNHCR car type and donation page is still available and we are finding more ways to support refugees.