Life changed for many people when the COVID-19 pandemic spread across globe in early 2020 and people’s lives and livelihoods were being impacted by an ever-changing situation. In response, Newcrest established the A$20 million Community Support Fund, with a clear purpose. To provide financial assistance for programs and initiatives that would support the preparedness and response to COVID-19.
Working with communities in Newcrest’s key areas of operations to identify funding opportunities -from April 2020 to June 2022, 67 programs and initiatives received funding from the Community Support Fund, with a total value of A$11.425 million as at 30 June 2022.
A new Community Support Fund has been approved to commence in July 2022, and will focus on support for improving resilience within Newcrest’s operating communities.
This new fund will be used to drive strategic social investments in support of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
The priorities of the CSF included:
Containment and health assistance
While containing the virus is challenging, preparing for ongoing waves and outbreaks could be achieved with ongoing access to essential goods and medical services at a national and local level. This preparedness could also be applied to other compounded infectious diseases.
Livelihoods and recovery assistance
By providing direct economic benefits in Newcrest’s immediate areas of operation, community resilience and socio-economic recovery would be rebuilt not only to the vulnerable and disadvantaged communities but also to the suppliers.
Ongoing medical support and vaccine research would continue to help protect people and communities against the COVID-19 virus.
Economic and social impacts
The economic and social impact of the pandemic is profound and will continue to have long-term effects. Opportunities have emerged out of this adversity for Newcrest to strengthen partnerships across their areas of operation.
Newcrest has formed and built upon its implementation partnerships and relationships with host governments, communities, Indigenous and First Nations People to prioritise and deliver programs under the CSF.
Some of the countries where the CSF has provided support include Ecuador, PNG, Canada and Australia.