Staff Writer

Old Mutual Namibia has pledged to donate N$5 million towards the nation-wide efforts to help address some of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As a caring and responsible business and pursuant to an appeal to the private sector by the President of the Republic of Namibia, H.E. Dr. Hage G. Geingob, Old Mutual Namibia recognises that the COVID-19 pandemic requires a concerted and committed response by all stakeholders, including the private sector,” Old Mutual Group CEO, Kosmas Egumbo said this week.

“There is no doubt that Namibia faces an uncertain future as the threat of COVID-19 impacts our communities and pose a significant risk to the domestic economy. As a company that cares for the communities who so much depend on us, Old Mutual will continue to do everything possible to provide the much-needed support.”

The donation according to the insurance giant, will be used for specific areas of support and include provision of food to poor and vulnerable communities, as well as technical equipment and allowances for payment of recruited medical professionals.

Of the amount the company said N$1 million will go towards the supply and delivery of food to the poor, old age homes, orphanages, as well as vulnerable communities.

“Old Mutual Namibia recognises that a large portion of the poor and the vulnerable receive their limited income from daily/hourly labour which they will not be able to earn during the lockdown. Therefore, to mitigate this, Old Mutual Namibia will provide non-perishable foods to the poor and vulnerable members of our society,” Egumbo said.

The company said N$2.7 million will be used towards expanding COVID-19 testing capacity, of which N$1.7 million will be channeled toward acquiring testing equipment, broadening the scale of testing, and the procurement of test kits. An amount of N$ 1 million will be used towards strengthening tracing capacity, including equipment, tools and services required for effective tracing.

“Experience gained and lessons learned from countries that have been fighting the impact of COVID-19 reveal that large-scale testing followed by effective tracing and isolation and treatment significantly contribute to early ‘flattening of the exponential infection curve’, which will alleviate the pressure on our limited health facilities, the Old Mutual Group CEO said.

The company said a targeted pledge of N$1.3 million to the National Disaster Fund: COVID-19 to mitigate impact of COVID-19 will be made.

“This targeted pledge to the National Disaster Fund: COVID-19 is geared towards the payment of allowances to temporarily recruited medical professionals, such as recently graduated medical students and nurses who might be recalled by the government to assist,” Egumbo said.