Digicel, the fastest growing mobile company in the Caribbean and new entrant to the Central America market, has committed US$ 1 million to support the relief efforts in Haiti following the passing of four major storms – two of them hurricanes – in Haiti.
In response to the devastation caused to Haiti over the last month, Digicel has actioned a series of relief initiatives to help the Haitian people through the difficult times and to get the country back on its feet.
Colm Delves, Digicel Group CEO, comments: “Since we launched in Haiti in May 2006, the Haitian people have made us their own. As a part of the Haitian community, we’re saddened by the devastation that has been caused to Haiti and its people by the storms and want to do everything we can to help with the relief efforts.”
Digicel’s US$1 million commitment comprises US$400k of aid support to NGOs, US$400K of free minutes and other mobile services and a further US$200K of direct aid distribution across Haiti.
In partnership with the Red Cross, Food for the Poor, Catholic Relief Services, Concern and Agerca, Digicel’s NGO donation of US$ 400k will help to get aid to some of the worst affected areas of Haiti – which in some cases, like Nippes, have not received any support to date. These supplies will take the form of (amongst other things) food containers and toiletries, kitchen, hygiene and medical kits and supplies and air transport for two water treatment plants.
In addition to putting US$200k towards the direct supply and distribution of aid to storm victims, Digicel is donating US$400k in the form of free minutes which will be given to customers in the worst affected areas of Artibonite (Gonaives) and Nippes – as well as the South, South East and West of Haiti.
Given the scale of the impact on Haiti, ongoing initiatives are key.
As well as Digicel employees taking part in a blood donation scheme with the Red Cross and the extension of this effort to Digicel subscribers, Digicel is taking part in a telethon and radiothon on the 14th of September. Customers will be able to donate to the relief fund by text and the Diaspora will be able to use the Digicel TopUp service to make airtime minute transfers by text (with Digicel’s Diaspora partners agreeing to waive their commission fees to ensure that every penny of the donations makes a difference to the people that most need it). Digicel employees from the islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe have run two donation days resulting in four (4) containers of clothing, and food supplies already arriving in Haiti.
“Our responsibility to the people of Haiti goes way beyond ensuring that they can stay connected to their friends and family – something that we did very successfully during the storms. As well as our tireless efforts to ensure that people have access to the communications services they rely on – we’re committed to helping people to get back on their feet and to rebuild the island,” said Colm Delves.