Standard Chartered Donates 25 000 Face Masks to the Smile Foundation
Standard Chartered has donated 25 000 N95 face masks to the Smile Foundation in support of the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The donation will help ensure the health and safety of frontline and healthcare workers working with communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. N95 masks are tight-fitting protective face masks designed to help reduce the exposure to airborne diseases, including coronavirus, through very efficient filtration.
The 25 000 N95 face masks, which are worth around R4 million, will go to hospitals in the four provinces most impacted by COVID-19, namely the Western Cape, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
Commenting on the donation, Kweku Bedu-Addo, CEO Standard Chartered South Africa & Southern Africa says, “Standard Chartered Bank’s purpose is rooted in our communities and underpinned by our brand promise to be Here for Good. We recognise that communities in South Africa and around the world need all the support that can be garnered to fight this pandemic. We also acknowledge the impressive effort and sacrifice that healthcare professionals have put into the fight against the coronavirus so far and will continue to do into the future.”
Smile Foundation CEO Hedley Lewis says, “We are honoured to partner with Standard Chartered Bank to protect and support the medical heroes and heroines on the Frontline. With immense gratitude, we thank them on behalf of all of the doctors, nurses and medical personnel who are supporting South Africans while risking their own lives to overcome this pandemic. This collaboration is a true private/public partnership made possible because of the CoronaCare Cause, which is fundraising to support the vulnerable in our communities.”
Various organisations are facing challenges surrounding the lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect healthcare workers who are on the forefront fighting the pandemic. The donation of face masks is part of Standard Chartered’s commitment to assist organisations with COVID-19 emergency relief efforts in South Africa.
“Supporting health professionals through providing the N-95 masks is one of the ways we have chosen to support our community to fight the pandemic. The health and wellbeing of the communities in which we operate is very important to us and when the pandemic recedes, we will be available to support the growth and revival of the economy,” says Bedu-Addo.
Since the start of the outbreak, Standard Chartered has made numerous donations to organisations such as the Red Cross, UNICEF and other NGOs providing emergency relief in countries across Africa and the Middle East impacted by COVID-19.