ECONET Wireless has launched a campaign that enables its customers to send desperately needed aid relief to famine-stricken Somalia via SMS.
The “Save a Life” SMS campaign will raise funding to support an international aid effort in Somalia, where a combination of the worst drought in 60 years and armed conflict has left an estimated 3.7 million people in desperate need of food aid.
Econet customers will be able to donate to the cause by sending the SMS “Save a Life” to the number 32225. The money raised from the text messages would go directly to UNICEF, which is involved in the coordination of international aid efforts in Somalia
“Econet Wireless is a global brand, and one founded in Faith. We are gravely concerned by this African tragedy, as are our customers. This SMS platform allows us to jointly respond to this crisis as best as we can,” Econet Corporate Communications Manager Ranga Mberi said.
Econet has pledged to match the amount raised by its customers, and also announced an additional donation of US$250,000 to the aid effort.
“It is our hope that this donation will trigger a wave of support from individuals, corporates and other relief organizations, into providing the much needed aid to the people of Somalia”.
The drought threatens up to 12 million people across the Horn of Africa, but conflict in southern Somalia has increased the urgency in the region.
According to latest United Nations reports, about US$1.6 billion is required in direct aid, with US$300 million of it required in the next month to allow aid groups to mount an adequate response to the famine.