The EU’s private sector has been actively contributing to solutions to the Covid crisis in partner countries, alongside the Team Europe public response. Beyond financial contributions to local pandemic funds or other types of financial donations, it has undertaken a wide range of initiatives to provide medical and protection equipment and other health solutions.
German engineering company Gauff is still family-run. It heads an umbrella group of companies working on projects in a range of sectors, from water and sewage to mobility and IT solutions, and from environment and energy to urban planning and architecture. Its charitable arm, the Gauff Foundation, supports institutions and projects in countries where the company is active. It also implements its own long-term projects where there is an acute need for assistance.
The global Covid-19 pandemic has put a strain on many African countries’ supply situations, making the problems for poorer sections of the population even worse. In response, the Gauff Foundation has made financial and in-kind contributions to Covid-related support efforts in Uganda, Angola, Mozambique and Senegal. Gauff engineering employees have been offering organisational help as well.
The Foundation sent Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda, five tons of corn and two tons of beans for distribution to families in need, along with a €17 500 donation to the country’s National Response Fund to Covid-19. Managed by the Prime Minister's office in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, the Fund is designed above all to procure protective equipment.
In Angola’s capital, Luanda, it will be supporting the provincial government in establishing and running two centres for street children to help curb the spread of Covid‐19. At the centres the children will receive accommodation, food, education and medical care that they previously could not get.
In Mozambique, the Foundation works closely with the ministry of health to help state hospitals better prepare for the rise in Covid-19 cases. So far, an acute lack of protective equipment has made it impossible for hospitals to adequately protect staff from infection by Covid-19 patients. The Foundation has donated protective clothing, masks and disinfectants worth €20 000 to the ministry.
Lastly, in Compact with Africa partner country Senegal, and especially in the capital, Dakar, it is hard to maintain hand hygiene in public areas such as markets – and even health centres. That is why the Foundation gladly responded to a request from the ministry of health and local authorities and donated 110 mobile handwashing stations, all with a stock of disinfectant soap. On top of this, concerned at the precarious supply situation for disadvantaged people, the Foundation answered an appeal from President Macky Sall with a donation of more than 15 tons of rice for the country.
All in all, the Gauff Foundation has provided tens of thousands of euros in emergency support since the pandemic began, and is planning further support initiatives.