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UBA donates Sh15m for coronavirus fight

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PATRICK ALUSHULA

By PATRICK ALUSHULA
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United Bank of Africa (UBA) has donated Sh15 million to aid in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic that has morphed into a financial crisis in Kenya and global economies.

The lender said the donation will support Kenyan government in its efforts to supply the much-needed relief materials and critical health care facilities as it battles to contain the coronavirus pandemic.

“UBA Group believes that fighting the pandemic should not be left to African governments alone. There is a role for corporate entities like ours in putting a Pan-African response to the fight against Corona virus global pandemic”, said UBA Kenya Chairman James Olubayi.

UBA Kenya’s donation is part of the Sh1.49 billion ($14 million) donated by UBA Group, through the UBA Foundation, to national Governments across the 20 countries in Africa where it has presence.

The lender becomes the third entity to publicly announce donation to the Covid-19 Response Fund. Cooperative Bank on Tuesday announced Sh100 million cash donation while Devki Steel Mills last week committed oxygen worth Sh100 million to public hospitals.

Kenya had 158 confirmed cases by Monday 16 more people tested positive. The ministry of Health warned that this may hit 10,000 cases by end of April if social distancing and other hygiene measures ae not adhered to.

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The Covid-19 Emergency Fund also expects receipts from individual Kenyans, local corporates, multinational companies and development partners.

Salary cuts made by President Uhuru Kenyatta, Deputy President William Ruto and other officials in the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature and county governments as well as exchequer contributions will also go to this fund.

The country has also received 250 ventilators from the World Bank and 20,000 testing kits from Chinese billionaire and co-founder of e-commerce multinational Alibaba Jack Ma to help contain the pandemic.

Kenya is facing shortage of medical supplies and crucial equipment such as ventilators and oxygen cylinders.

Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe warned that hospitals might be overstretched in the coming days should there be a steep increase in infections.

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