Concord Times (Freetown)

14 August 2014

Sierra Leone: Airtel Raises Additional Le300 Million to Fight Ebola

Airtel, the leading telecommunications company has dedicated Le1 (one Leone) from every call made on the network to be donated to the Ebola fund.

The fund is geared mainly towards supporting or partnering with the government in national development projects but all proceeds will go towards the Special Fund set up by His Excellency until Ebola is eradicated.

In an exclusive interview with the Managing Director of Airtel, Sudipto Chowdhury, he said they have decided to raise more funds to fight the epidemic because the country is going through serious challenges and requires more resources and awareness to contain it.

He said Airtel is set to generate an additional Le300 million within 30-90 days of the State of Emergency to help fight the deadly Ebola outbreak. He explained that with their current subscriber base of about 1.6 million, making approximately three million calls a day and ninety million per month, they are donating Le1 from every call made towards the Ebola fight and also disseminating sensitization messages to their customers

Airtel will continue to stand with the government in this fight until the disease is kicked out of the nation. We will continue to fulfill our corporate social responsibility at all times as ours is a company that cares, Mr. Chowdhury said.

He added that the fund raising campaign for now is targeting the outbreak and that it will be an ongoing process until the scourge is finally eliminated. He however assured that once the disease is eradicated the funds will be channeled towards other development programmes.

"In the future, the fund will serve to help government's developmental initiatives and emergencies like disease outbreak. The initiative has kicked off since 1st August," he said and described the Le1 per call fund raising scheme as a demonstration of their continued effort and commitment to the people of Sierra Leone by not only providing communication devices but also catering for the health needs of the people.

He mentioned that Airtel was the first company in the country to embark on the mobilization of funds to fight the disease, including staffers' sacrifice of a day's wage that was emulated by others.

He encouraged all and sundry to observe strict personal hygiene and also offer prayers for the outbreak to be eradicated soonest so that the country will continue to enjoy its happiness and prosperity.

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