As the virus starts to spread through Africa, there is a growing concern about how the continent, which is the source of many raw materials used in jewellery, will deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. So the latest news to be released from diamond miner De Beers is a welcome announcement.
De Beers Group has pledged to donate $2.5 million to help fight the Covid-19 virus in Botswana and Namibia, two countries where the miner sources its rough diamonds.
The money will be used for the “procurement of medical supplies, logistical support, vulnerability assessment support plans, food security for vulnerable households, water supply to communities, community COVID-19 awareness and education, and local clinical support”. De Beers is offering similar support to governments in Canada and South Africa, the other two major sources of its diamonds, details of which will be announced at a later date, it said.
“With our contribution of $2.5 million, De Beers is supporting the unprecedented efforts of healthcare professionals, community leaders and all those confronting COVID-19 in the countries and communities in which we live and work,” said De Beers Group chief executive Bruce Cleaver. “We have refocused our business in our host communities to support the response to the pandemic and our priorities are clear: prepare communities for the crisis, support the emergency response and be a partner in economic recovery.”
De Beers Group has created what it is calling a Community Response Plan for each of its major diamond producing countries. This has been drawn up with the support of local communities and government agencies to help identify the best ways – and times – in which De Beers can offer assistance.
“We have long-standing partnerships with the people of Botswana and Namibia, spanning decades,” said Cleaver. “The men and women of De Beers are proud to stand with them now in this moment of crisis and we will stand with them as their partners on the road to recovery and renewal.”