Paramount Group has provided food relief to the Embassies of Ghana, Mozambique and Zambia as part of its efforts to support South Africa and Sub Saharan African countries afflicted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The food donations have been slated for onward distribution from each Embassy to the respective Ghanaian, Mozambican and Zambian communities in-country, to those struggling and presently stranded in South Africa, Paramount said on May 29.
Tens of thousands of migrants have been displaced across the continent after states shut their borders in attempts to curtail the spread of COVID-19. This dilemma has caused threats of widespread food shortages and lack of adequate shelter to worsen, with many presently unable to quarantine and subsequently, placed at risk of contracting the infectious disease. Further, dislocations caused by border closures have impacted food security supply chains, today far more vulnerable due to COVID-19 social distancing regulations.
Eric Ichikowitz, Senior Vice President of Paramount Group stated, “The ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis are widespread yet the importance of food security remains and cannot be overstated. We are privileged to play a critical supportive role during the lockdown in seeking to mitigate the further spread of the disease. Our company holds valued partnerships across the continent and it goes without question that we will assist our customers’ communities as best we can here in South Africa in times of need. We will continue to support, to innovate, to stand in solidarity with our continent’s fellow capable public and private sector partners until the crisis abates”.
George Ayisi-Boateng, the High Commissioner of Ghana, stated: “The food donation by Paramount Group is warmly appreciated and will go a long way in assisting our needy citizens in South Africa. Many are active in the retail sector, which has been hard hit by the national lockdown. This donation will further strengthen the bonds and partnership between Ghana and Paramount Group.”
The Zambian High Commissioner to South Africa, Major General Jackson Miti, stated that the donated food items will help mitigate food insecurity among affected Zambians. Miti noted that the donations would cushion affected families during the lockdown period. The High Commissioner has since thanked the organisation for making the donation to the Zambian community, describing it as timely.
The Ambassador of Mozambique, Paulino Jose Macaringue, said: “On behalf of the Republic of Mozambique, I wish to express my gratitude to the generous relief support provided by Paramount Group. The pandemic caught us all by surprise. We do not have the ability to respond in appropriate ways to the havoc wreaked by the pandemic, so we are touched by your generosity. Your assistance will make a difference to the lives of fellow Mozambicans in South Africa.”
Paramount Group said it has maintained a steadfast commitment to support both those on the frontlines fighting the pandemic and their surrounding communities at risk of exposure. The company notably has begun the production and deployment of one thousand facial masks for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF), increasing manufacture week on week, and in the design and development of innovative ‘Intuboxes’ to provide greater personal protective equipment (PPE) to medical practitioners at major hospitals treating those infected with the disease.