The Sime Darby Foundation (SDF), the philanthropic arm of Sime Darby group is expected to donate 5.7 million rubber gloves valued at US$155,000 to the Government of Liberia today, Friday, to help in the fight against Ebola to the final end.
The gloves shipment, which came in three containers, arrived at the Free Port of Monrovia on October 31, 2014.
In addition to the gloves, the SDF has also contributed USD157, 220 to the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to carry out Ebola awareness programs and campaigns in Liberia.
IFRC is working with the Liberian Red Cross Society (LRCS), which is leading efforts to control the spread of the virus through programs to reduce mortality and morbidity related to Ebola.
Other activities by the IFRC include the training and mobilization of volunteers in affected communities; providing psychosocial support and also help those affected by the deadly disease; setting up diagnosis facilities; expanding on-going awareness programs to Sime Darby estates; and developing an identification system to manage any outbreak of Ebola.
Up to present, Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone have recorded more deaths with reports of about 9,000 people infected with the virus, which has a fatality rate of about 70 percent of those infected.
GOL earlier requested for help from countries all over the world to fight the deadly disease, which has claimed more than 4,500 lives across West Africa and poses serious threat to the country’s economy.
The gesture by Sime Darby was part of a collaborative effort by the Malaysian government with other Malaysian companies to assist five African countries that have been greatly affected by the Ebola virus.
The beneficiary countries include Liberia, the Republic of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Congo.
According to a Sime Darby statement released yesterday, the Liberian Government will receive the gloves and make onward distribution to health workers, non-government organisations (NGOs) and communities.
Sime Darby is one of the largest palm oil producers in the world, with about six percent of global supply. In Liberia, the company has a total planted area over 500,000 hectares and a land bank over 900,000 hectares.
Meanwhile, Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDP) currently has a workforce of almost 3,000 and in 2009 the company signed a 63-year concession agreement with the government of Liberia to develop oil palm and rubber plantations in Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Bong counties.
The company is an international conglomerate involved in many types of businesses ranging from aerospace to tourism. However, the plantation sector remains the most important sector for the company.
About two-thirds of the company's palm oil production comes from Malaysia, and one-third from Indonesia. A related company in the Sime Darby group, Sime Darby Biodiesel, produces biodiesel from crude palm oil.