Of the total contribution, Sh30 million is to head towards different initiatives that are specifically designed to assist individuals and businesses get through the pandemic. This will include a psychosocial support program with which the bank looks to provide a mental wellness care centre for COVID-19 patients, health workers, and caregivers. The program is also expected to offer 24/7 counselling services.
The remaining Sh20 million is to be channelled to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for the acquisition of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and other additional assistance for the health workers in line with the fund’s immediate priorities.
According to Jeremy Awori, Absa Kenya managing director, the magnitude of the challenge caused by the COVID-19 pandemic requires every citizen and business to actively play his or her role in minimizing the impact.
“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,” he said.
The bank will also be rolling out training programmes for SMEs to help them survive through the pandemic. The programmes which will be coordinated through the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund will be implemented in partnership with different individuals and organizations.
“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.