Standard Chartered donates USD11.8m for COVID-19 relief in Africa

15May 2020
The Guardian
Standard Chartered donates USD11.8m for COVID-19 relief in Africa

​​​​​​​STANDARD Chartered yesterday announced donations totalling USD11.8 million to the Red Cross, UNICEF and local NGOs and government partners providing emergency relief across Africa and the Middle East impacted by Covid-19.

Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO of Standard Chartered.

The donations are meant to contribute to programmes providing urgent medical support and the protection and education of vulnerable children, as well as other efforts to ensure the health, safety and protection of communities across Africa and the Middle East.

To ensure that donations are allocated where they can provide rapid and targeted impact, the bank has pledged USD3.55 million of funding to the Red Cross for urgent medical support in nine markets across Africa.

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.

It has also pledged USD3.25 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.

These include alternative care arrangements and family tracing services for children separated from their families owing 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.

The donations form part of the bank’s USD10 million pledge – USD5 million to Red Cross and USD5 million to UNICEF – to support Covid-19 emergency relief activities across its markets in Asia and Africa.

On top of USD6.8 million donations to the Red Cross and UNICEF in the region, the bank has pledged USD5 million for local NGO and government partners across Africa and the Middle East.

Sunil Kaushal, Regional CEO of Standard Chartered Africa and the Middle East, 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. By working with Red Cross and UNICEF, we can support those affected by this crisis and together overcome the adversities we currently face,” noted Kaushal.

Dr Simon Missiri, Regional Director for Africa at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, meanwhile said: “Thanks to Standard Chartered’s generous donation, Red Cross Red Crescent Societies can support local communities now facing increasing challenges due to the pandemic.”

“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,” he noted, adding: “Thanks to the vital donation from Standard Chartered we can continue to support more people facing the devastating effects of the coronavirus.”

Gary Stahl, Director, UNICEF Private Fundraising and Partnerships Division, said: “In any crisis, the young and the most vulnerable suffer disproportionately. This pandemic is no different.”

“With the majority of the world’s children living with some form of pandemic-related movement restrictions and 1.3 billion children around the globe affected by school closures, UNICEF’s work for children has never been more critical than now,” he noted, adding: “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.”

The bank has also put in place a comprehensive support programme for UNICEF clients, including USD1 billion of financing for companies that provide goods and services to help the fight against Covid-19.

Other financing will go to firms planning the switch into making products that are in high demand to fight the global pandemic; and a comprehensive support scheme for retail and business customers, including loan repayment holidays, fee waivers or cancellations and loan extension facilities.

The eight African markets to receive Red Cross support are Tanzania, Botswana, Cameroon, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe, while UNICEF support will go to Tanzania, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia.

The Red Cross is an umbrella term for the British Red Cross and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

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