Anglo American is providing extensive support to its employees and host communities through its global WeCare lives and livelihoods programme response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the WeCare programme, Anglo American today announces its contribution towards accelerating the fight against gender-based violence, given the significant increases in cases of gender-based violence in many countries during lockdown.
Anik Michaud, Group Director of Corporate Relations at Anglo American, said: “COVID-19 has brought such a wide range of unwelcome challenges and exposed many across society. Accelerating our commitment to the global fight against gender-based violence through our WeCare lives and livelihoods response programme could not be more appropriate, as many more women and children need safe spaces.
“If we do not act, we risk leaving countless more women and children in harm’s way. We are pleased to be working with a range of organisations who are providing access to support and shelter to those women and children who are most vulnerable during this time. Our operations and host communities operate as an ecosystem and both must be healthy to prosper.”
Through the Anglo American Foundation, Anglo American is contributing US$227,500 to help the fight against gender-based violence, starting in South Africa. This support forms part of the company’s global WeCare response to protecting the lives and livelihoods of our employees and host communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Across our operational footprint, our WeCare programme provides information and practical support across four pillars of: physical health, mental health, living with dignity, and community response – itself spanning the provision of many essential services and support for small businesses.
Anglo American’s contribution is in support of the many organisations working to combat Gender Based Violence, including by UN Women South Africa Multi Country Office (SAMCO) and its various partners. This donation will be managed directly by the National Shelter Movement of South Africa and donated to shelters that are close to our operations, covering basic and COVID-19 related needs such as transport, telephone airtime, shelter, food, water, sanitation, information, healthcare and psychosocial support.
UN Women SAMCO Representative, Anne Githuku-Shongwe, underscored the need to ensure that all those at risk of gender-based violence have access to services when they need them: “It is everyone’s business, not just government alone or NGOs, but every sector to support those most vulnerable in our society especially during a time when gender-based violence has reportedly increased during the COVID-19 lockdown.
“This initiative will go a long way in supporting service providers along the GBV Emergency Referral Pathway to ensure that they have capacity to respond when survivors reach out to them.”
The UN Population Fund estimates that six months of lockdowns across the world could result in an additional 31 million cases of gender-based violence.