Namibia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (NCCI) launched the Business Namibia Covid-19 Response Initiative on 24 June 2021 as an emergency intervention by Namibia’s private sector to support government in the fight against the disastrous effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
At a media briefing on Monday about the NCCI-led initiative, chamber president Bisey /Uirab said this private sector coalition was created out of the urgent need to combat the unfolding Covid-19 crisis in the country, in particular, as it pertains to the supply of medical oxygen, health facilities, equipment and other critical medical supplies.
“The rate at which the virus is spreading is unprecedented and it appears we are fighting our most lethal adversary to date. It is clear the private sector needed to step in and support efforts already being made by the government,” stated /Uirab.
Therefore, the objectives of this coalition are to engage private sector thought leadership and mobilise private sector resources to provide direct support to state and public healthcare facilities with the ability to respond to the crisis.
He added that the aim is to increase general public awareness and education to encourage vaccinations and support government efforts to mitigate the further spread of the pandemic and loss of lives.
He stressed it was imperative to continue promoting adherence to Covid-19 regulations and protocols within the business environments and communities.
Uirab further noted the coalition has established a high-level private sector Covid-19 response committee, chaired by him and comprising top executives of corporates and private enterprises as partners in this initiative.
“This committee is to provide leadership and to ensure decisions are made at the highest level within the quickest possible time to avoid any delays in the execution and delivery of targeted interventions as well as ensuring a transparent and accountable governance process in all the procurement and logistics supply activities. This committee is also responsible for the initial and ongoing funding mobilisation efforts,” /Uirab explained.
Overall, donations committed towards the supply of medical oxygen, facilities and other medical needs to date amount to just over N$14 million, of which over N$8 million is committed towards oxygen supplies and close to N$5 million towards field hospitals, equipment and medical suppliers.
Among the donors, Namibian Breweries Limited (NBL) confirmed its support for the initiative by pledging the cost of the field hospital for a period of three months with a total pledge of N$1.8 million.
Bankers Association of Namibia (BAN) also donated N$2.3 million worth of oxygen to the health ministry.