As the COVID-19 crisis continues, your Careem team has been stepping up efforts to support our communities. The health and well-being of our Captains, Customers, Colleagues and Partners is what matters most right now. This is a huge task and it has been truly inspiring to see our communities and businesses come together and extend helping hands to the most vulnerable.
Like you, we care deeply about our community so wanted to take a moment to update you on the impact Careem’s initiatives are having to improve lives and help people get through this difficult time.
How we’re supporting Captains
Captains have been especially hard hit so our focus has not only been to keep them safe and help them be of service to their communities, but also to find ways to reduce their overheads, provide work opportunities and partner with business and government to offer more ways to earn.
That’s why we have been busy around the clock securing curfew exemptions and movement permits that allow Captains to deliver food, daily essentials and vital aid to their neighbours while continuing to earn and support their families.
We’ve accelerated the expansion of our delivery services across the Careem network to help Captains benefit from the 40% increase in the demand for day-to-day supplies.
Freezing our Captain loyalty programme (e.g. Gold Captains keep their Gold benefits) ensures over 75,000 Captains keep hold of the benefits and bonuses that they’ve worked hard to earn. We also added a feature that allows Customers to gift Captains for past rides.
Working closely with regulators across the region we’re finding ways to reduce the financial burden of our Captains. So far over $6.6m in government fees that Captains would have paid have been deferred. Many governments across our region are working on launching financial relief initiatives, and we’re doing our best to ensure Captains are eligible for these programmes.
Additionally, we are working with central banks and local lending institutions and are already seeing their generosity through short-term relief on Captains’ car loan obligations. With pauses on loan repayment worth millions of dollars, we’ve enabled tens of thousands of Careem Captains to use this relief to cover their essential daily costs. We are working to extend this loan relief to even more Captains.
In the countries we serve, our communities are facing unique challenges that need local responses. In Pakistan, UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, we’ve procured sanitisers and masks from all available sources and distributed free sanitation packages to help keep our Captains, Customers and Partners safe. In the UAE alone, we distributed 6,000 sanitisers, 85,000 wipes and sprays, nearly 12,000 masks and 140,000 pairs of gloves. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, we met Captains’ need for daily payouts to help with cash flow and we’re working hard to launch this in other markets soon.
Every day, Captains are out there providing the essential services you need, and we’re fully committed to supporting them. That’s why any Captain that is diagnosed with COVID-19 will receive 14-day sick pay under our new policy. To help them do their job and make social distancing possible, a no-contact-delivery feature on Careem NOW has been rolled out in every market where deliveries are available.
In addition to our internal support channels, we now have 24/7 support for Captains through Facebook in the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait and Iraq to be there for Captains when they need us most.
We are testing the effectiveness of each of these initiatives and are working hard to roll them out further as soon as we can.
How we’re supporting Partners
Small businesses are a vital part of the communities where we live and work. And we know that many of our partners across the region have had to make some difficult decisions while doing their best to support our Customers.
In order to help, we’ve reduced commissions by 15% in the UAE for each of our partners and by 50% in KSA for any partner that has less than four branches. Over 1000 different branches received these reductions and we were happy to hear the positive feedback from our partners. The Careem Care team is also committed to providing any partner with the support and guidance they need during this challenging time.
Working with registered charities and NGOs
During these trying times, we’ve also witnessed incredible acts of humanity, with communities rallying together to navigate COVID-19. Over the past weeks, we have partnered with prominent charities across the region to offer financial relief and crucial medical supplies.
In Pakistan, we’re working with organisations like Rizq, which strives to end hunger through tech-powered grassroots action and Karachi Relief Trust, a volunteer organisation that works to mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters. Together, Captains have delivered 1500 ration bags to families across Pakistan’s major cities and this number is expected to rise as more charities join the cause.
We have also partnered with Naua, a Crown Prince Foundation (CPF) initiative in Jordan, to enable Customers to donate their Careem REWARDS points for food supplies, medical equipment, testing kits and medication. We wanted to make sure that anyone who wishes to contribute supplies to hospitals in Jordan has an easy and safe way to make a difference.
Being Careem is one of our deep-rooted values and bringing our communities together will continue to lift us through this challenging moment. We want to express our heartfelt gratitude, admiration and respect to Captains who are getting people to where they need to be, and delivering essential supplies and meals to Customers.
We won’t stop working hard to find new partnerships, local initiatives and smart ways to support our community and help simplify and improve even more lives.