The Hadeed Group of Companies (HGC), the country’s largest private sector entity, has made a donation of one hundred thousand US dollars (two hundred and seventy thousand EC dollars) to the government to assist with the vaccine purchase programme.
During a presentation ceremony on Wednesday, Prime Minister Gaston Browne highly commended the Hadeed Group for its generosity at this time when the nation is in the midst of a national crisis brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
PM Browne said it was good that companies and individuals come forward on their own to assist the government to purchase additional vaccines to help stem the tide of the pandemic which has devastated the national economy, sickened hundreds and has led to more than twenty-five deaths so far.
“I take this opportunity on behalf of the government and people of Antigua and Barbuda to express sincerest gratitude to the Hadeed Group of Companies for this gesture. It’s a voluntary contribution as the government has not openly solicited contributions for this effort. However, there are a number of conscientious citizens and corporate entities who have been contributing to the acquisition of vaccines for the programme. It is important that these contributions are made at this time of crisis when we ought to be ‘our brother’s keeper and our sister’s protector.’ This is a timely contribution and nothing new as the Hadeeds have been contributing to all aspects of national life over the years,” he stated.
In making the presentation, Executive Director of the Hadeed Group, Francis Hadeed, said his family as well as the companies within the HGC are happy to assist the government at this time when the country is ‘at war’ with an invisible enemy.
“On behalf of the Hadeed Group of Companies we are very pleased, very happy to be making this contribution. COVID is a war; it’s the worst pandemic the world has seen since World War II. I must add that, Mr. Prime Minister, you have been a very good war-time leader. The WHO now says the economic devastation caused by COVID far exceeds that of World War II and everyone must join in this battle against COVID. We will continue to contribute and to help as our way of joining this national effort,” he remarked.
Antigua and Barbuda is seeking additional doses of vaccines to fully inoculate at least eighty per cent of the population.