Standard Chartered has launched a US$50m COVID-19 assistance fund in keeping with its brand promise to be Here for good, particularly in times of adversity.
Standard Chartered says the $50 million global fund will provide assistance to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
$25 million will go to support emergency relief in several of its most affected markets while the additional $25 million will help communities over the medium term to recover from the economic impact of the virus.
The firm will also match contributions made by its employees and other donors to meet the $50 million target. All the Group’s board and management team members will be making personal contributions to the fund.
Through individual country and regional efforts, Standard Chartered has already donated US$1.85 million to COVID-19 relief efforts to date.
The Group has also launched initiatives to provide economic support and protect the wellbeing of customers, clients and the Group’s 84,000 employees around the world. On 30 March, the Group announced that it is committing up to $1 billion of loans, import/export financing and working capital, at preferential rates, for companies providing goods and services to help in the fight against COVID-19, and support those re-deploying production resources to help fight the pandemic.
Companies in scope include manufacturers and distributors in the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare providers, as well as non-medical companies that have volunteered to add this capability to their manufacturing output. Goods in scope include ventilators, face masks, protective equipment and sanitisers.
The firm is not the only one doing something to curb the spread of COVID-19. The American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) Kenya, together with its members are implementing various measures aimed at supporting the Kenyan Government in its policy and behavioural protocols during the on-going COVID-19 crisis.
AmCham Kenya consisting of American private companies such as Coca-Cola, IBM, Microsoft, Uber and Google, are making business adjustments for their employees and customers by enabling remote working and online learning to promote social distancing; and implementing initiatives focusing on public sensitization, early detection and treatment; and promoting hygiene standards.
Some of the efforts made towards early detection and treatment of the Corona virus include; Coca-Cola’s partnership with a non-profit health organization to secure medical supplies and with the Kenya Red Cross to provide hydration and beverages to medical staff working on the frontline of testing quarantine centres.
Johnson and Johnson is providing nursing training support through the World Continuing Education Alliance digital platform. The content consists of the World Health Organisation approved curriculum that is being adapted by Aga Khan University School of Nursing and Midwifery in East Africa and the Nursing Council.
Cisco is supporting remote working for the Central Government, financial institutions, SME’s, education institutions, county governments and other organizations. IGAD and Cabinet Meetings for example are being facilitated through Webex and Cisco devices.
Microsoft and Google are supporting remote learning for educational institutions by providing free access to the Microsoft Teams Platform and working with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development as it updates education material for its online platform. Google has created a website for distance learning resources. It is providing technical support to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in broadcasting its school lessons live on YouTube. Google has also extended advanced features of its video conferencing tool – Hangout Meet – for free to all subscribers of its suite of office productivity, including schools who get the suite for free.
IBM on the other hand is enabling remote online learning by making available their online learning platform for free training on new technologies including certification and online job search engine. This is accessible at www.digitalnationafrica.com.
To promote hygiene standards, Del Monte Kenya is partnering with the County Government of Murang’a to provide machinery and labour for fumigation of marketplaces, shopping centers, villages and where possible offices.
Uber Kenya has also, in a bid to promote social distancing, offered their platform for use by businesses and government for logistics and delivery infrastructure for Covid-19 essential products. In support of its customers, they have waived delivery fees for restaurants in order to encourage more home orders.
“Many of these companies have been dealing with the virus in other markets and are glad to support government and local enterprises in not only protecting businesses but also in securing the livelihood of Kenyans,” added Mtikitiki.