NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 21 – Absa Bank Kenya PLC has announced a contribution of Sh50 million in support of the efforts towards containing the spread, effects, and impact of COVID-19.
Of the total contribution, Sh20million will be channeled directly to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund towards the acquisition of Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and other additional support for our health workers in line with the Fund’s immediate priorities.
The remaining Sh30m will be directly invested in various initiatives specifically designed to help individuals and businesses get through this pandemic. These include a psychosocial support program through which the bank will provide a mental wellness care center for COVID-19 patients, health workers, and caregivers. Cognisant of the increasing cases of psychological distress impacting the mental wellbeing of affected Kenyans, this program will offer counseling services that will be available 24/7.
Absa Kenya Managing Director Jeremy Awori said that the magnitude of the challenge caused by the Covid-19 pandemic requires all Kenyans, businesses and individuals alike, to actively play their role in minimizing the economic and social impact on our country.
“We all can do something, however big or small, that will get us closer to winning the fight against this pandemic. Extending care to our caregivers –the medical workers- is one of the outstanding areas that require urgent support, and this is the call we are responding to as an organisation,” Awori said.
Additionally, as part of this investment, the bank said it would be rolling out business resilience training and mentorship programmes for SMEs to help them survive through this difficult time. All these programmes will be implemented in partnership with various organizations and individuals and coordinated through the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund.
“SMEs are the heartbeat of our economy and we understand that this is a very difficult time for them. We have rolled out a number of initiatives to support them through this journey, including offering them bespoke loan repayment relief options, financial training around working capital/cash-flow management during times like this, as well as a commitment to pay all our SME supplier invoices within 14 days,” Awori said.
The bank also announced that it had created a dedicated a funding line for businesses involved in manufacturing health equipment or offering products and services directly related to the fight against COVID-19.