Canadian Funded Food Delivery App Selected by Jordanian Government to Help Deliver Supplies to Jordanian Households - 1st April 2020
Governments around the world are taking various actions to combat the COVID-19 Coronavirus Pandemic. While some haven’t applied any solid containment and eradication measures yet, or were slow to apply them, the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, home to over 10 million people [i] reacted swiftly and decisively to confront the threat by implementing one of the world’s strictest curfews.
The complete nationwide curfew, [ii] rigorously implemented since March 21st, originally prohibited the movement of people and closed all shops. However, to enable people to buy essential products, Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar Razzaz later announced on March 24th that the government would allow individuals aged 16-60 to go only on foot, while observing social distancing rules, to buy groceries in neighborhood shops. Days later, on the 28th of March, the Jordanian Government launched “mouneh.jo”, an online shopping directory of companies and selected mobile applications that were given special licenses to provide delivery services to households across the Kingdom.
Amongst the eight selected mobile shopping applications was MEDA partner Bilforon, an app-based company that has transformed its business model during this crisis from one that connects individual and corporate customers with home chefs, to one that delivers groceries and other essential items to doorsteps. Bilforon received a matching grant through the Innovation Fund of the MEDA Jordan Valley Links (JVL) project in 2019 to improve its platform’s design and reach with the goal of supporting 450 women home chefs to sell their products. The JVL project is funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and is being implemented by MEDA Jordan.
Commenting on his company’s temporary core business transformation, Bilforon’s founder and CEO Mohammad Albattikhi said that his company “transformed during the COVID 19 lockdown into a grocery shopping app to support the local community. We did this as part of our social responsibility. All the revenue generated from this will go toward supporting Bilforon's home chefs who are not able to operate their businesses or generate an income during this time.”
In order to be able to offer these new delivery services and financially support their home chefs, Bilforon had to rush to establish rapid business partnerships with some of Jordan’s leading supermarkets, bakeries, vegetables and fruits markets and frozen food stores such as C Town, Amman Mart, and Markazi Fruit, as well as mobile phone stores that sell recharge cards. It is now providing, through paid arrangements with drivers, hundreds of grocery and other product deliveries to families and individuals in Amman daily.
Commenting on Bilforon’s successful measures to adapt to the current situation, Helal Ahsan Ul Haque, MEDA Country Director stated that "MEDA is happy to see more of its private sector partners and GAC funding recipients contribute to Jordan’s efforts to overcome the challenges that are associated with the battle against the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic. We are continuing to provide all of the support that we can offer to Bilforon and our other partners in these challenging times".
MEDA Jordan is in close contact with Bilforon in this process and continues to assist other JVL project partners seeking to play a part in overcoming the new and unprecedented challenges that have arisen in the kingdom as a result of this pandemic.