United Arab Emirates, 10 June 2020: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, today announced that its bauxite mining subsidiary Guinea Alumina Corporation is providing humanitarian and economic support to local communities in the Republic of Guinea during the COVID-19 pandemic.
GAC’s support includes engaging local community members in the manufacture of soaps, facemasks and other protection equipment to donate to local people, employees and sub-contractors; supplying medical equipment to the national health authority; and providing prevention education.
Some 450 temporary jobs have been created by GAC’s COVID-19 community support project. With each worker in developing countries supporting seven family members on average according to the United Nations, the project is likely providing economic support to more than 3,000 individuals in the Boke Region.
Aissata Beavogui, Director General and Head of Corporate Social Responsibility of GAC, said: “The UAE Government is providing assistance to many countries in their fight against COVID-19, including Guinea. As a UAE-owned company and proud corporate citizen of Guinea, we are following this example and extending our support to our host communities during this challenging time not only on a humanitarian basis but most importantly supporting local economies through social entrepreneurship. We unfortunately have previous experience of contributing to the fight against pandemics from the Ebola crisis five years ago, and we are putting what we learned then into action now.”
More than 400 women and youths from GAC host communities are producing soap for handwashing, which is then donated by GAC to the communities themselves. Some 25,000 bars of soap have been produced so far.
GAC is paying 20 tailors to sew facemasks for local community members. Some 25,000 facemasks have been distributed to households near GAC’s mining and port sites to date, as well as to GAC employees and sub-contractors.
To promote handwashing, GAC has engaged local welding shops to produce handwashing stations – basins and soap dispensers – which GAC is placing in public areas in the neighbouring communities.
GAC is also supporting local communities by distributing locally-sourced, staple foods, including rice, and sugar, helping ensure food security during the pandemic.
To contribute to awareness in the community of COVID-19 prevention measures, GAC has donated its advertising resources. Employees, including the union leader (Fanta Doukouré, who is also Superintendent, Administration and Services) and Train Loading Superintendents, have recorded public service announcements in local languages on topics including social distancing and the importance of hygiene, which run as advertisements on local radio stations. GAC has also replaced its billboards in the area with prevention information.
On a national level, GAC is supporting Guinea’s response to COVID-19 by donating some $200,000 of medical supplies to Guinea’s National Agency for Public Health via the Ministry of Mines.
According to the World Health Organisation, Guinea has more than 3,300 confirmed cases of COVID-19.
The development of the GAC project, which began production in August last year, was the largest greenfield investment in Guinea in the past four decades.