Nairobi, 9 May 2020 – As part of its Covid-19 Corporate Social Responsibility Programme, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is donating 140,000 Made-in-Kenya masks to Kenyan healthcare workers in collaboration with Kenya’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund and Ministry of Health.
The KES 10.5 million donation will go a long way in assisting Kenyan healthcare workers, who as essential workers operating in the eye of the Covid-19 storm, need those to do their jobs safely, to ensure continuity of healthcare services in Kenya, and ultimately save lives.
To support the Kenyan private sector and local communities, TDB procured the masks locally from the Kitui County Textile Center (KICOTEC), a Kenyan garment factory launched and operated by the Kitui County Government employing mostly youth and women from the area. With the rise in critical demand for face masks, the center has considerably increased its capacity, creating additional jobs for youth and women.
Georgina Musembi, KICOTEC Ag. CEO said that: “KICOTEC has a workforce of over 300 people of which 82% are women and 80%, youth. The workforce is mainly drawn from rural parts of Kitui County. This resonates well with our Governor’s Development Agenda on Women Empowerment and Youth Development. We are currently producing about 30,000 masks per day in a 24-hour shift. We appreciate support from all business partners, Trade and Development Bank included, who are part of ensuring that our women and youth remain in employment”.
Jane Karuku, Chairperson of the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund said that: “the partnership with Trade and Development Bank is a demonstration of real commitment towards supporting the Government and the country at large. We appreciate TDB’s intervention through the purchase of surgical face masks, to aid mitigate the impact of the virus”.
The handover of masks took place at the Kitui County Textile Center (KICOTEC) on the 7th of May and the official ceremony at the Kenya International Convention Center (KICC) on the 9th of May with the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund, Ministry of Health officials and fellow corporates deploying efforts in the battle against the pandemic.
“TDB’s CSR vision is to promote the social and economic wellbeing of its stakeholders via interventions which will enhance economic development and prosperity of the region” said Mary Kamari, TDB Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations Executive.
Michael Awori, TDB Chief Operating Officer added that “in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, TDB is joining forces with various international and African partners to redouble efforts in containing and mitigating the profound health and socio-economic impacts in our region”.
“It is our responsibility as the region’s development finance institution to intervene in its Member States when crises strike” said Admassu Tadesse, TDB President and Chief Executive. “We have done so last year when Cyclones Idai and Kenneth hit in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, and this year again, to complement our Governments’ efforts to curb the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. In Kenya, we are delighted to leverage our effort to be able to hit several birds with the same stone: support the Kenyan SME sector, women and youth employment, and deliver what is most urgently needed to fight Covid-19”.
TDB has deployed a comprehensive response plan to curtail the impacts of the pandemic which apart from the Bank’s Covid-19 CSR Programme, includes interventions for Member States, enterprises and financial institutions via re-prioritized and special operations.
Established in 1985, the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) is a multilateral, treaty-based, investment-grade development financial institution, with assets of USD 6.7bn. The Bank’s mandate is to finance and foster trade, regional economic integration and sustainable development through trade finance and project and infrastructure finance.
About the Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund
On March 30, 2020, His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta appointed The COVID19 Emergency Response Fund Board. The principal object of the Fund is to mobilise resources for an emergency response towards containing the spread, effects and impact of the COVID19 pandemic. Immediate priorities include supporting the government’s efforts in the supply of medical facilities and equipment and support for vulnerable communities with their immediate needs, including food.
About Kitui County Textile Center (KICOTEC)
The Kitui County Textile Center (KICOTEC) is a Kenyan garment factory launched and operated by the Kitui County Government. The textile center employs more than 300 youths and women from the area.
Anne-Marie Iskandar, Senior Communications Officer
Corporate Affairs and Investor Relations
Trade and Development Bank
Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund
Director of Communications
Kitui County Textile Center