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How Covid-19 billions raised by private sector will be spent

Friday July 03 2020
KAruku

Kenya Covid-19 Fund Board Chairperson Jane Karuku (left) presents Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) to Kenyatta Hospital CEO Evanson Kamuri (right) on July 1, 2020. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By ERIC MATARA

The Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund Board has netted more than Sh2.8 billion from corporates, foundations, religious institutions multinationals and Kenyans of good will towards supporting the government’s war on the virus.

According to Fund chairperson Jane Karuku, about Sh500 million will be disbursed via M-Pesa to Nairobi's most vulnerable communities. The beneficiaries will be residents of Nairobi estates such as Ngara, Mukuru, Lang'ata and Kibra.

"We're giving these people Sh1,000 per week for the next four weeks," she said during an interview with a local station yesterday.

Sh237 million will go towards purchasing personal protective equipment (PPEs) for healthworkers while Sh95 million will go to supporting the mental health of medics.

"We want to make sure all the 54 Covid-19 designated hospitals in the country have adequate supply of PPEs. Interestingly, all the PPEs we have bought are manufactured locally by Kenyan firms because as a board we believe in the Buy Kenya Build Kenya initiative," said Ms Karuku.

"We know it is tough for our health workers...it is stressful and we want to help them deal with the stress as we take care of other Kenyans,"she added.

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Local manufacturers, she said, have proved their worth as dependable suppliers for the much-needed kits.

The PPEs will also be distributed to key health centres, refugee camps and counties on a need basis.

Another Sh 1.3 million has been spent on buying face masks that are being distributed to vulnerable communities including Jua Kali workers and mama mbogas around Nairobi and nearby towns.

ACCOUNTABILITY

To ensure there is transparency in the spending of the funds, the Kenya Breweries boss noted that the board will make public all contributions and expenditure regularly.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Deloitte and EY Kenya are providing pro-bono assurance services to oversee the use of funds and ensure procurement processes are done properly.

The Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund was established by President Uhuru Kenyatta on April 1, 2020 with the view to mobilise resources to aide in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic.

Some of the organisations that have contributed include Safaricom (Sh200 million), KCB (Sh150 million), the National Treasury (Sh150 million), Co-operative Bank (Sh100 million), NCBA (Sh100 million) and ABSA Bank (Sh50 million).

Others are First Chartered Securities (Sh25 million), Devki Group Sh100 million, UBA Bank (Sh15 million), the Kenya Civil Aviation (Sh15 million), BAT Kenya (Sh10.6 million) and many more.

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