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MasterCard backs Ministry for COVID-19 Response

MasterCard backs Ministry for COVID-19 Response

The Ministry of Innovation and Technology, with the support of MasterCard Foundation, has launched a project that will help digital innovations for COVID-19 response. 

According to the Ministry, the newly launched project has received a commitment of USD 887,000 from the MasterCard Foundation to run the COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program, which will support the development of COVID-19 response by citizens through data driven health informatics portal.

The platform will serve as a single and unified portal to integrate and publish information on government interventions on COVID-19 at the national and regional level and facilitate information flow to citizens on overall governmental COVID-19 responses.

The project will also help setup a rapid response center to queries raised by citizens using an inbound and outbound call center with toll free lines integrated with the information portal. It will supplement the Government’s effort to respond to the multifaceted impact of COVID-19 based on an integrated set of rapid digital solutions to critical national problems.

Ahmedin Mohammed (PhD), State Minister of Innovation and Technology, said that the project will provide citizens with access to information on government actions related to COVID-19, through an integrated web portal that will enhance transparency and engagement of citizens during the pandemic. The information to be availed includes publication of data on infection rates, recovery and mortality numbers, aid pledged and received.

The government anticipates improving public awareness on COVID-19 preventive measures through the implementation of the project. Engagement of citizens and information exchange activities via calls and SMS alerts are expected to increase in volume as traffic is enhanced. Ultimately, such projects encourage the advancement of digitalization as more Ethiopians progressively adopt digital technology in their everyday lives, the State Minister said.

Once setup, the Ministry of Innovation and Technology and its partners will run the COVID-19 Response Data Driven Health Informatics Portal & Rapid Response Centre, involving the Ministry of Health, Ethiopian Public Health Institute (EPHI), Ethio-Telecom, and other government and non-government organizations.

The MasterCard Foundation has been assisting the Ministry to help launch a Digital Transformation Strategy since last year.