On April 5, Etihad Airways’ loyalty programme, Etihad Guest, launched a campaign to encourage members to donate their Etihad Guest Miles in order to support the prevention and response efforts of COVID-19 in refugee settings.
Since the introduction of this initiative, which was organised in collaboration with the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) globally and Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) in the Middle East, Etihad Guest members have donated over 10 million Etihad Guest Miles, which is equivalent to 20 ventilators or almost 20,000 masks.
Vice president medical services, Etihad Aviation Group, Dr Nadia Bastaki commented on the results: “We are humbled at the generosity of our Etihad Guest Members and in a bid to combat the pandemic and join this fight, we are matching their donation with a further 10 million miles, evenly distributed between UNCHR and ERC, to bring the total number of donated miles to 20 million, to help less fortunate communities worldwide.”
Meanwhile, senior advisor and representative – GCC, UNHCR, Khaled Khalifa declared: “During this unprecedented health emergency and economic downturn, a united effort is needed and our partnership with Etihad Guest is a real testament to the pivotal role of the private sector in responding to alleviate the suffering of the displaced.”
UNCHR will use the miles in Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Lebanon to support over 10,000 people by providing both medical supplies and hygiene materials to refugee camps or monetary support for those who are unable to work due to the pandemic.
Khalifa further noted: “We are proud and grateful to Etihad Guest and their generous members who continue to stand for the cause of refugees and who, without thinking twice, contributed to UNHCR’s COVID-19 preparedness and response measures in the MENA region.”
The donated miles will also be used by ERC to purchase essential healthcare equipment such as ventilators, gloves, masks and soap.