- Award is in recognition of Zain’s efforts in supporting refugees fleeing the conflict in around the region and further afield.
Zain Group, a leading mobile telecom innovator in eight markets across the Middle East and Africa, announces its recognition as a winner of the GSMA’s “Outstanding Contribution to the Mobile Industry Award” for 2017. The award was presented to Zain Group and four other mobile operators Asiacell, Deutsche Telekom, Turkcell and Vodafone on 26 February 2017, the eve of Mobile World Congress, at the GSMA’s annual Welcome Dinner at the Palau de la Música Catalana in Barcelona, in the presence of His Majesty, King Felipe VI of Spain.
Zain’s recognition in this manner was based on the work the telco continues to undertake around the region to assist and improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable sectors of society, including those fleeing the crisis in Syria. In particular, GSMA applauded Zain’s creation of several commercial packages in the Middle East intended to facilitate connectivity, which is much needed amongst refugees and internally displaced people.
Commenting on the recognition from the GSMA, Scott Gegenheimer Zain Group CEO said, “We would like to express our appreciation to the GSMA for this honor, which is a great endorsement to adding dignity to the lives of so many who face challenging circumstances. We are committed to helping those in need and will always look to provide ways in which sustainable solutions may be found and fostered to alleviate the difficult circumstances afflicting so many.”
Jennifer Suleiman, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Zain Group said, “We are all well aware of the positive impact that mobile communications and connectivity can have on the lives of people, and we witness this first-hand in our own region. We feel a strong sense of responsibility to assist those requiring help and this has become part of our corporate identity within Zain. We appreciate GSMA having recognized our efforts in this manner, and we shall use the award to raise further awareness of the desperate situations people are living under, and the need to assist wherever possible.”
Zain has also spearheaded a number of initiatives to improve the welfare of displaced people across the region. One of the most comprehensive of these was the Internally Displaced Person Assistance Project, a multilateral initiative launched in 2015 by Zain Iraq, involving the distribution of food, clothing and other supplies to nearly 20,000 people. This included food baskets for 2,500 people, 4,000 ftar meals, 700 bottles of baby milk, 1,000 sets of clothing, and 100 air coolers. The project also addressed the health concerns of displaced persons through collaboration with two specialized non-governmental organizations (NGO), Dary and Iraq Builder. Through this partnership, medical tents were established to provide medicine, medical consultancy and psychological care to people.
In particular, GSMA applauded Zain’s creation of several commercial packages in the Middle East intended to facilitate connectivity, which is much needed amongst refugees and internally displaced people. Most notable of these packages is the Tawasol Line offered by touch in Lebanon, which provides discounted rates for Syrian refugees for voice, SMS, and data, as well as discounts for calls and messages to Syria. With over one million Syrian refugees hosted in Lebanon, there is high demand for the service, which was launched in 2015, and by the end of 2016 counted approximately 50,000 subscribers.