De Beers Group, Namdeb, Debmarine Namibia and Namibia Diamond Trading Company (NDTC) (Namibia De Beers partnership) pledged a combined N$26 million to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Namibia. The pledge consists of a financial donation and in-kind support to assist with the rollout of the Namibia vaccination campaign.
The support will be funded through a contribution of N$13 million from De Beers Group and acombined N$13 million from Namdeb, Debmarine Namibia and NDTC. The share of the pledge to be contributed by De Beers Group forms part of Anglo American’s global commitment to supporting national vaccine programmes in the countries in which it operates.
The Namibia De Beers partnershipwill continue to engage with Government and consider the best ways for the financial contributionto assist in procuring vaccines for the benefit of Namibia’s population, while in-kind support willinclude the provision of medical facilities, personnel, equipment and supplies to assist with thedelivery of the vaccine rollout.
The Namibia De Beers partnership is committed to the fair andequitable distribution of vaccines and supports the priority approach as defined by the NationalDeployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) for COVID-19 in Namibia.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO of the De Beers Group, and Chairperson of the Namdeb Holdings Board said, “As we collectively respond to the impacts of COVID-19, it’s clear that partnership is more important than ever and we remain focused on finding the best ways to help meet the needs of our partners. In Namibia and around the world, COVID-19 has had a huge impact on everyone’s lives, and vaccines provide us with a path towards health and economic recovery. I would like to pay tribute to the sterling leadership provided by Otto Shikongo in Debmarine Namibia, Riaan Burger in Namdeb andBrent Eiseb in NDTC, during these most trying times.
Through a combination of financial supportfor national vaccine procurement and the provision of medical facilities, personnel, equipment and supplies, we are committed to playing a meaningful role in supporting Namibia’s national vaccine rollout and helping protect its citizens from the virus.”
The contribution to the national vaccine rollout programme follows prior support provided by thePartnership, to assist Namibia in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.In 2020, De Beers provided a N$15 million in-kind contribution, enabling the procurement of aPCR testing machine, supported the establishment of border screening facilities (in partnershipwith the Anglo American Namibia foundation), and the upgrading of the Lüderitz Hospital High Care Unit in partnership with Debmarine Namibia.
Namdeb played a pivotal role in supporting vulnerable households from the communities of Lüderitz, Aus and Rosh-Pinah, by providing food parcels and increasing school support to affected families. Namdeb also provided isolation facilities in Lüderitz, which are used by the Ministry of Health and Social Services to isolate and treat COVID-19 positive patients.
In collaboration with the University of Namibia (UNAM), Debmarine Namibia established a laboratory and placed two fully functional PCR Testing units at the University. This collaboration has strengthened the UNAM knowledge base on COVID-19 testing, and supported the Debmarine Namibia operations in conducting tests for employees and complemented national testing efforts. Thirty high-spec ventilators were also donated to the Ministry of Health and Social Services for placement at various hospitals.
Meanwhile, NDTC provided a range of support to all its employees and their families to ensure safe and continuous operations, albeit with stringent COVID-19 related measures in place. This ensured the continued sale of diamonds by Namdeb and Debmarine Namibia, and economic benefits of diamond mining to the country during this period.
Contributed by Debmarine Namibia