CSR

Private sector wage resource war against Coronavirus

In Summary
  • The board has committed to making public all contributions and expenditures regularly.
  • Uhuru set up the fund to mobilise resources for an emergency response towards containing the spread, effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Covid 19 Emergency Fund CEO Jane Karuku speaking when she received Sh100 million foodstuffs donated by the Hindu Council of Kenya at Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, April 10.
PLEASE HELP: Covid 19 Emergency Fund CEO Jane Karuku speaking when she received Sh100 million foodstuffs donated by the Hindu Council of Kenya at Nyayo National Stadium on Friday, April 10.
Image: COURTESY

Corporate heavyweights in Kenya are dedicating huge chunks of their annual social responsibility budgets to help the country fight coronavirus pandemic which is threatening to stifle the economy.

This follows President Uhuru Kenyatta’s move to set up a private sector-led Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund late last month to mobilise resources for an emergency response towards containing the spread, effects and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Jane Karuku led team has since received cash donation and in-kind support from various firms in the country led by Cooperative Bank which last week donated Sh100 million.

 

Co-op Bank’s Managing Director Gideon Muriuki said the contribution is in recognition of the need by corporates and individuals to put resources together to source for critical medical supplies and equipment such as ventilators.

Other contributors listed on the Fund’s website by yesterday include UBA Bank which contributed Sh15 million, WPP Scan Group (Sh5 million), Letshego (Sh1 million) EGM securities (Sh1 million) and Optiven Group Sh250,000.

The Hindu Council of Kenya is the only no corporate entity listed as a contributor by the Fund. The council donated food items worth Sh100 million.

Although not listed as a contributor on the Fund’s website, Devki Steel Mills last week pledged to donate Sh100 million worth of oxygen to public hospitals amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The steel company owned by billionaire Narendra Raval, also a member of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, informed the Ministry of Health that the donations would be available for collection from their Mombasa, Athi River and Ruiru plants.

Others are Unilever East Africa pledged €100 million (Sh10 billion) commitment in the fight against Covid-19 pandemic across the cluster of its businesses in partnership with the UK Department for International Development. 

The multinational’s regional CEO Justin Apsey said the firm hopes that the consolidated donation of soap, sanitiser, bleach and food will make a significant contribution towards protecting people’s lives and cushioning the society against the ravages of this pandemic.

 

Others are Safaricom Plc, which helped in setting up Covid-19 call centre as well as donating thermal cameras for the Ministry of Health to help with a screening at various border entry points. UAP Old Mutual, and Pwani Oil.

The kitty is expected to receive a seed capital drawn from the Exchequer, including the voluntary salary-cuts undertaken by the senior ranks of the executive, judiciary, legislature and county governments.

The board has committed to making public all contributions and expenditures regularly.

For accountability, the Board is working with professional services firms PwC Kenya, Deloitte Kenya, and EY Kenya who are providing pro-bono assurance services,’’ Karuku said in a statement.

Some of the private sector leaders sitting on the board include KQ chairman Micheal Joseph, Equity Group CEO James Mwangi, Narendra Raval, KCB CEO Joshua Oigara and Absa Bank Kenya PLC MD Jeremy Awori.

Others are Royal Media Services MD Wachira Waruru, Mohammed Hersi and KAM CEO Phyllis Wakiaga.