Due to the global impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), governments across the world, including Ghana, are against time in their search for funds to help contain the spread of the virus.
While at it, they are also seeking avenues to revive their economies which are presently on their knees, with the World Bank projecting a negative growth by the end of the year if the situation remains same.
But as the search is on, companies, particularly multinationals in the financial services sector, are braving the storm to lend a helping hand in their quest to help countries to see an end to what has been described as the worst global pandemic which continues to claim thousands of lives.
For instance, the Republic Financial Holdings Limited has announced its intention to make a US$2 million contribution collectively across all of the territories in which they operate.
These territories are Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada, Guyana, Barbados, Ghana, Suriname, Cayman Islands, St Lucia, St Vincent & the Grenadines, St Kitts & Nevis, St Maarten, Anguilla and Dominica.
Announcing the package in a release issued in Accra, the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Group, Mr Nigel Baptiste, stated that:
“The full extent of the human tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes is epochal. While the group is committed to helping our clients survive the economic impact, there is so much more that is needed to be done at the society level. No country is immune to this virus and given our preference for open borders, we all must be interested in what happens elsewhere. Management of this virus requires global collective responsibility.”
It said the pledge of US$2 million across all of its territories “falls under its ‘Power to Make a Difference’ programme and is being specifically targeted to address some of the key immediate requirements in the fight against COVID-19.”
From the release, the fund is going to focus on the purchasing of essential materials among other to facilitate the work of health workers.
“The funding is targeted to assist with the purchase and provision of critical needs such as ventilators, PPE, testing kits, food and supplies for the health care workers as well as supporting the all-important social distancing messages,” the release indicated.
According to the release, members of the Republic Group had already taken numerous steps to safeguard the wellbeing of their clients and staff, while ensuring the provision of essential banking services to customers.
Ghana’s share of the $2 million
On the side of Ghana, the Group in their release said it had reached out to its clients to provide cash flow relief to those affected by the disruption brought about by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“Of this total, an amount of GH¢1.1 million (US$200,000) has been earmarked for Ghana. Among the beneficiaries identified are President’s COVID-19 Trust Fund, Greater Accra Regional Hospital (Ridge), Kumasi South General Hospital, and together with the generous support of our staff, to various communities also affected”, it said.
According to the Managing Director of Republic Bank Ghana, Mr Farid Antar, the donation is to assist the government and other stakeholders in the fight against the virus as Ghana strives to overcome the pandemic.
“We are all in this together and through our resilience, discipline and unity of purpose we will be successful,” he added.
In a statement from the Bank, it said:
“The Republic Financial Group recognises the dynamic nature of the situation and remains committed to a continuous assessment of its actions and responses to ensure that the best interests of its staff, clients and communities are served.”