ZIMBABWE is set to benefit from the Standard Chartered Bank’s US$11,8 million support towards Covid-19 relief efforts across Africa and the Middle East.
The banking group indicated in a latest statement that the funding would contribute to Covid-19 mitigation programmes by providing urgent medical support, protection and education of vulnerable children.
“Standard Chartered today (May 14) announced donations totalling US$11,8 million to the Red Cross, UNICEF and local non-governmental organisations and Government partners providing emergency relief in countries across Africa and the Middle East impacted by Covid-19,” it said.
Eight African markets to receive the Red Cross support include; Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, , Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
Seven other African states that include Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia will receive the UNICEF support.
The international bank said the funding would assist global efforts to ensure the health, safety and protection of communities across Africa and the Middle East. Standard Chartered has already pledged US$3,55 million of funding to the Red Cross for urgent medical support in nine markets across Africa.
The funding will support activities such as the provision of primary and secondary health care, communication of protection measures, provision of personal protection equipment (PPE) for Red Cross staff and the distribution of food, care and education packages for those impacted by Covid-19.
The bank also pledged US$3,25 million of funding to UNICEF for the immediate protection and education of vulnerable children in Pakistan and across eight markets in Africa.
“Funding will support activities such as the provision of remote education via TV, radio, online and mobile platforms and child protection measures including: alternative care arrangements and family tracing services for children separated from their families due to Covid-19; training for social workers to conduct home visits to vulnerable children for mental health support; and alternative care and protection services for children of parents or caregivers affected by Covid-19,” said the bank.
It said the donations were part of Standard Chartered’s US$10 million pledge – US$5 million to Red Cross and US$5 million to UNICEF – to support Covid-19 emergency relief activities across its markets in Asia and Africa.
“On top of US$6,8 million donations to the Red Cross and UNICEF in the region, Standard Chartered has pledged a further US$5 million for local NGO and Government partners across Africa and the Middle East to bring the total committed to US$11,8 million,” said the bank.
Standard Chartered Africa and Middle East regional chief executive officer Sunil Kaushal, said:
“Ensuring the health, wellbeing and stability of the societies in which we are present, is paramount.
“We are proud to be able to contribute to Red Cross and UNICEF programmes that reach the most vulnerable people in our communities.
“Standard Chartered’s purpose is rooted in our communities as we strive to create sustainable prosperity in the markets where we operate.”
International Federation of Redcross and Red Crescent Societies regional director for Africa Dr Simon Missiri paid tribute to Standard Chartered’s generous donation.
“Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are the front-line responders, and these funds will help address some of the most urgent health and socio-economic impacts faced by the most vulnerable people across our country. Thanks to the vital donation from Standard Chartered we can continue to support more people facing the devasting effects of Coronavirus.”
UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division director Mr Gary Stahl said:
“UNICEF’s work for children has never been more critical than now. Thanks to this donation from Standard Chartered, UNICEF will be able to support remote education via TV, radio, online and mobile platforms and child protection measures for vulnerable children across the world.”
In addition to the donation, Standard Chartered has also put in place a comprehensive support programme for its clients including US$1 billion of financing for companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against Covid-19, and those planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the global pandemic.