Moroccan citizens have used text messages to donate over MAD 6.5 million ($650,000) to the country’s Special Fund for the Management and Response to COVID-19.

Moroccans have sent more than 650,000 text messages to 1919, the telephone number created by the Ministry of Economy to facilitate public contributions to the special fund, revealed Minister of Economy Mohamed Benchaaboun during a recent press briefing.

The ministry had launched the SMS service on March 21, one day after the implementation of a national lockdown, to allow citizens to contribute to the fund without travelling to bank agencies.

Every text message sent to the telephone number 1919 represents a MAD 10 ($1) donation to the fund.

The SMS donation method proved that even small sums of money are important in the fight against COVID-19 and encouraged thousands of citizens to participate in this solidarity act.

Morocco’s special fund, created on March 16 following royal orders, covers the costs of upgrading medical infrastructure and addressing COVID-19 emergencies. It also serves to support the national economy, especially sectors most vulnerable to impacts from the COVID-19 crisis, such as tourism.

The fund had an initial budget of MAD 10 billion ($1 billion). Contributions from banks, private companies, and other Moroccan institutions, as well as citizens’ donations, have more than tripled the fund’s budget, which currently stands at over MAD 33.7 billion ($3.37 billion).

Aside from SMS messages, citizens can contribute to the fund through a bank transfer to the account: RIB 001 810 00 780 002 011 062 02 21, open on the books of BANK AL-MAGHRIB / RABAT, in the name of the Ministerial Treasurer of the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Administration Reform.

Moroccan banks also launched services facilitating the transfer of contributions directly to the fund.

Moroccans living abroad can also donate to the fund by contacting Moroccan embassies in their countries of residency. The diplomatic representations can receive donations and route them appropriately.