Global ridesharing giant, DiDi, has today announced a COVID-19 response initiative
Funds will be spent on supporting vaccination efforts in international markets including Australia
DiDi has reached out to Australian Federal and State Ministers, advocating for priority vaccines for rideshare and delivery drivers
Global ridesharing giant, DiDi, has today announced a COVID-19 response initiative that will dedicate USD $10 million to aid vaccination efforts for local communities across its international markets, including Australia.
The Global Vaccination Support Fund has been designed to provide locally tailored support for vaccination efforts across DiDi’s international markets. This will include free or significantly discounted rides for eligible riders traveling to vaccination appointments, or for healthcare workers providing vaccinations. It may also support other COVID-19 measures going forward in the local communities in which DiDi operates.
DiDi will allocate a portion of the Global Vaccination Support Fund towards providing free and discounted rides to users travelling to and from priority vaccination appointments at distribution centres across Australia, set to be announced.
DiDi has also reached out to Australian Federal and State Ministers, requesting priority vaccination for rideshare and delivery drivers.
DiDi will continue to work closely with government partners and public health authorities to determine best practices for aiding vaccination efforts across all states, with Australia’s first vaccines set to be administered in late February.
With the rideshare industry severely disrupted during the global pandemic, DiDi provided a number of initiatives to support local communities, and protect drivers, riders and frontline medical and healthcare workers in Australia:
USD $10 million COVID-19 relief fund
– announced in March 2020 for international markets, the fund has provided financial support for over 13,000 driver-partners and their families globally
– free face masks and sanitisation kits for DiDi driver-partners
– provided free to DiDi driver-partners as well as other rideshare drivers, taxi drivers and private car owners in major cities
– providing free or discounted rides and meals to more than 6 million frontline medical and healthcare workers globally, including Australia
– a separate rideshare service for drivers and riders to opt-in where face masks are worn and vehicles are regularly cleaned and sanitised
– AI technology with Australia’s first in-app face mask recognition software for drivers on DiDi Care in June 2020, and later in capital cities where face masks have become mandatory
Since January 2020, DiDi has been working closely with the World Health Organization and public health experts and authorities to provide contingency plans focused on protecting the health of its users and partners against COVID-19.
This latest announcement demonstrates how DiDi continues to prioritise the safety of its drivers and riders and provide tailored support for Australia’s communities, always adapting to the environment and needs, whilst also working with key government stakeholders to advocate for all rideshare and delivery drivers to be eligible for priority vaccination as they continue to provide access to essential services.
Announcing DiDi’s ‘Global Vaccination Support Fund’, Jean Liu, President of DiDi, said, “COVID-19 has changed everything. It has slowed our cities and our lives. We would like to be part of the solution, working closely with local authorities to get our cities and our lives moving again. That’s why, on top of the inspiring work our teams have done to help people get around safely during these challenging times, we are launching this fund as a first step towards playing the role we can in local vaccination efforts, so we can all close this dark chapter soon and start a new one.”
Lyn Ma, General Manager of Australia and New Zealand, said: “Our priority has always been the safety of our driver-partners and riders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, and as the country paves the way for post COVID-19 recovery, we are committed to extending support to the local communities in which we operate.”
“We have written to the Minister for Health and Aged Care to request for priority distribution of the incoming COVID-19 vaccine to rideshare and delivery drivers throughout Australia, acknowledging their work as critical at the frontline whilst mitigating the risk of transmission, and look forward to continuing to support the Australian community with safe and affordable rides in 2021.”
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