How Businesses Can Support The Most Vulnerable During Covid-19

by Business Watch Team

It is no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic had a huge negative impact on people, not just in Kenya but around the world. This being the new norm, experts have already indicated that we shall have to learn to live with the pandemic for it is not going away any time soon.

In Kenya, people have lost lives and they continue doing so. Some are still admitted to hospitals and most have been left devastated. Businesses were shut and some, especially in the hotel industry have never recovered, leaving millions without employment.

In the first three months of the pandemic, Kenya Bankers Association (KBA), said that at least 1.7 Kenyans lost their jobs. At the same time, the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) put the number at 2 million while the World Bank put the number at 2 million of those Kenyans who slipped into poverty.

Both the rich and the poor were hit by this pandemic and the effects still manifest themselves in different ways. Government regulations made it even worse. There are those who were already in abject poverty when the pandemic hit and it only came to make it worse.

In the beginning, it was mandatory that everyone put on a mask. Not everyone could afford a mask then, still many can’t afford it now. This has provided a CSR opportunity for various businesses, buying or making and distributing masks to those Kenyans who cannot afford them. This should continue.

At the same time, there are those who were laid off at the peak of the pandemic from their jobs, cutting off their families, and those who depended on them for food and cash. Any business that can create employment opportunities and give priority to those who lost their jobs during the pandemic would be a great savior.

Food is what keeps us going. It is the fuel that drives us. Stats show that at least Kenyans from 23 counties are facing acute hunger. With the Covid-19 and sometimes restrictions, these Kenyans were cut off from the rest in terms of assistance. A business that deals in foodstuffs and drinks can be of help to donating the surplus to them.

Scholarship programs are great for helping bright but needy students access education. Education has become so expensive in Kenya and so many bright students from less fortunate backgrounds are being locked out. Any business that gives them an opportunity during this time will be great.

There is an ongoing vaccination drive across the country. Many Kenyans, especially in the rural areas have complained that only those in the urban areas are being prioritized. Truth is, vaccination drives are in the rural areas too people there is little information about where they are. Businesses can partner with government agencies and stakeholders in terms of disseminating information and distribution of the vaccines.

Lastly, hospital bills have become a nightmare for the majority of Kenyans. Covid-19 has been given priority and prominence and all the other illnesses such as cancer are forgotten. So many vulnerable families are struggling with huge hospital bills with some just deciding to remain at home to await death. There is a need to help them out.

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