Mastercard and Uber have announced a partnership to provide 120 000 free trips and meals to frontline workers fighting against COVID-19 in the Middle East and Africa (MEA).

South Africa is included in this endeavour, which has seen Mastercard committing to the free trips and meals with Uber carrying it out.

During this pandemic delivery services like Uber Eats have become an important way for people to access important goods while staying at home to minimise human contract and help stunt infection rates. Expanding into new areas like books and general goods also helps reduce the amount of times people need to leave the house.

“Once qualifying workers have successfully signed up through Uber’s website, they can arrange transportation to and from their homes and to where they are needed, such as healthcare facilities or to feed the vulnerable. Uber has shared relevant health information with drivers to ensure they are well-informed in COVID-19 related safety protocols and have been provided with masks and sanitizer reimbursements,” reads a press release sent to us.

Frontline workers who qualify will be those already associated with Uber’s partners such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Doctors Without Borders and Life Hospital. They will be instructed by these organisations towards getting the free services on offer.

Uber has worked with these partners before. It teamed up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to deliver chronic medication. Locally it has worked with Doctors Without Borders to collect and deliver thermometers to clinics in South Africa.