Humanitarian aid organization Mercy Corps has expanded its partnership with the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, to support the health and well-being of Syrian refugees and those impacted by the latest tragedy in Lebanon. With funding from the Mastercard Impact Fund, Mercy Corps will provide critical information on the prevention and transmission of COVID-19, distribute PPE kits and sanitizing supplies to those in need, and provide personal hygiene kits to support the most vulnerable women and girls in the country.
“Many Syrian refugees tell us Mercy Corps was the first to make them aware of the dangers of the coronavirus pandemic,” says Jeffrey Shannon, Director of Programs for Mercy Corps in Lebanon. “Since the devastating explosion in Beirut, we’ve seen a marked rise in the number of cases across the country, and we are proud to partner with Mastercard to support communities and control the spread of the disease.”
Mastercard and Mercy Corps will reach 12,000 Syrian refugees and 4,500 Lebanese host community members with COVID-19 prevention and mitigation measures. Additionally, over 1,000 Syrian women and girls will receive basic hygiene kits and specialized gender-based violence information as the pandemic continues to unfold. The partnership will also see Syrian refugees and Lebanese community mobilizers trained to better serve their communities by providing COVID-19 prevention and mitigation awareness, receiving a daily wage for their work and ultimately becoming more empowered to further grow their self-reliance.
“We are committed to being a force for good and bringing about progressive social and economic change within the communities in which we operate,” says Ramzy Al Amary, Country Manager – Lebanon & Levant, Mastercard, “Lebanon needs urgent and immediate help, and we want to use the scale, resources, and influence of our business to make a positive impact on people’s lives and alleviate the burden of the recent tragedy and the pandemic. We’re grateful that our long-standing partnership with Mercy Corps has already touched the lives of thousands of people all over the world, and this is just another example of how our combined efforts can offer powerful and innovative ways to help those in need.”
Over the years, Mastercard has worked with several organizations to support refugees in the region, leveraging its technology and investing in solutions to offer them a dignified life. Following the recent blast in Lebanon, Mastercard made a corporate donation to aid the World Food Programme (WFP) and launched a campaign to match the donation of its employees around the world. In 2012, Mastercard also helped the World Food Programme set up a pioneering system to provide pre-paid cards for Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, bringing business to local merchants and making WFP’s operations more time and cost effective. As of 2017, 2.2 million Syrian refugees had used these cards to purchase the food that fits their needs in local stores.