De Beers, Debswana and DTC Botswana pledge P55 million to support Botswana COVID-19 vaccine rollout

The pledge to the vaccine rollout programme builds on the support DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB have already provided to date in helping Botswana respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Beers, Debswana and DTC Botswana pledge P55 million to support Botswana COVID-19 vaccine rollout
Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group (Pic: MONIRUL BHUIYAN/PRESS PHOTO)

De Beers Global Sightholder Sales (DBGSS), Debswana Diamond Company (Debswana and Diamond Trading Company Botswana (DTCB) today pledged a combined P55 million to support the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Botswana. The pledge will comprise financial support as well as a range of in-kind support to assist with the administration of the vaccine.

The support will be funded through a contribution of P25 million from DBGSS, P25 million from Debswana and P5 million from DTCB. 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. DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB will continue to engage with Government and consider the best ways for the financial contribution to assist in procuring vaccines for the benefit of Botswana’s population. In-kind support will include the provision of medical facilities, personnel, equipment and supplies to assist with the delivery of the vaccine rollout. DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB are committed to the fair and equitable distribution of vaccines and support the priority approach as defined by the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) for COVID-19 in Botswana.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “We have been partners with Botswana for more than 50 years, and through that time we have a shared track record of recognising and supporting each other’s needs. We are proud to have assisted with several important public health programmes in the past, and as the world continues to grapple with Covid-19, we are committed to working with Government to ensure we support Botswana’s national vaccination strategy in the best way possible. Partnering for thriving communities is a key pillar of our sustainability work, and the health infrastructure we have built up in Botswana over the decades will offer vital support for the administration of the vaccine, while our financial contribution can play an important role in supporting national vaccine procurement.”

Lynnette Armstrong, Acting Managing Director, Debswana, said: “As our nation begins the rollout of its Covid-19 vaccination programme, Debswana, together with other private sector partners, has been invited by the Government of Botswana to assist with the broader National Covid-19 Vaccination Plan to reach 1.6 million people. The Government and private sector partnership will assist in supporting a safe, effective and efficient Covid-19 vaccination programme. Covid-19 vaccination is a critical aspect of the fight against the pandemic and as Debswana, we look forward to providing support through our mine hospital health facilities, offering support to communities, as well as contributing financially through the partnership with DBGSS and DTCB.”

Sedireng Serumola, Managing Director, DTCB, said: “DTCB takes great pride in playing a critical role in assisting the Government of Botswana during these trying times. It is through partnerships such as these that we can pull together critical resources to help make a valuable contribution towards the fight against this pandemic. Government cannot fight it alone, and this is indeed a positive step in DTCB’s commitment to remain a supportive and involved corporate citizen.”

The pledge to the vaccine rollout programme builds on the support DBGSS, Debswana and DTCB have already provided to date in helping Botswana respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Debswana committed P24 millions of support to relief programmes in 2020, providing access to PCR testing capacity at its mine hospitals, as well as funding a range of crucial PPE. DTCB provided BWP2.5 million comprising an in-kind contribution of Covid-19 testing kit swabs and viral transport media. DBGSS contributed BWP20 million (through a combination of BWP 10 million in cash support and BWP 10 million in-kind support) to the Covid-19 Relief Fund, which assisted with vital activities such as the purchase of PCR testing machines and a range of hygiene and sanitary equipment.