De Beers Group revealed it has made a $200,000 (£160,000) donation to women’s shelters and support organisations across its four producer partner countries.
The donations have been made to the organisations across Botswana, Canada, Namibia and South Africa in response to an increase in gender-based violence resulting from the ongoing pandemic.
The donation will be split equally across the four countries, and will be in addition to previous contributions of over $5m (£4.03m) made by the group across monetary and in-kind support.
All donations have gone towards the procurement of medical supplies, logistical support, vulnerability assessment support plans, food security for vulnerable households, water supply to communities, Covid-19 awareness and education, and local clinical support.
News of the donations came as the group wanted that lockdowns and social distancing measures around the world have exacerbated the risk of gender-based violence, with a global increase in cases reported.
With some gender-based violence support services either closed or under increased strain, De Beers Group’s funding will support the capacity of women’s shelters and organisations in these communities to meet the increased demand for their services.
De Beers Group is working with local stakeholders in each country, including its long-term partner, UN Women, to tailor an approach that is appropriate to local contexts.
Bruce Cleaver, CEO of De Beers Group and UN Women HeForShe Thematic Champion, said: “As the world faces unprecedented health and economic challenges caused by the Covid-19 virus, many women and children are also being exposed to a significantly increased risk of gender-based violence, while having limited ability to access support services and finding those services are under extreme pressure.
“De Beers Group has a longstanding commitment to support women and girls in the communities where we operate, and right now many need this support more than ever.”
He added: “The funding we are providing will assist women’s support organisations to continue delivering critical services to survivors of gender-based violence during the current situation, and help protect against it in the future.”
In addition, Cleaver will also donate 30% of his salary over the next three months to charitable organisations supporting vulnerable people in southern Africa.