(Barbados Today) – Republic Financial Holdings Limited (RFHL) has announced that the Republic Group will be making a contribution of the equivalent of US$2 million, collectively, across all of the territories in which it operates, namely, Anguilla, Barbados, Cayman Islands Dominica, Ghana Grenada, Guyana, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia,  St Maarten, St Vincent & the Grenadines Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.

In Barbados, the group’s relief effort will be led by Anthony Clerk, Managing Director and CEO Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited.

The Bank will be making a donation of BBD$400,000 to the Ministry of Health to assist with the purchase of vital equipment and pharmaceuticals.

Clerk remarked: “Barbados, the Caribbean and indeed the world, has never faced a threat quite like this. We at Republic Bank are prepared to work with the Government and members of the social partnership to help citizens navigate these unprecedented challenges. We have a long history of prioritizing the well-being of our people, investing in our communities and helping the most vulnerable among us. That will not change in the face of this crisis. This donation forms part of our contribution to the fight against the spread of COVID-19 and its impact on society.”

The Republic Group’s response to the societal impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is being coordinated under the umbrella of its social investment vehicle, the Power to Make A Difference programme.

In keeping with the programme’s focus on building successful societies and sustainability, the group’s support will be targeted at addressing both long-term rebuilding efforts and the immediate requirements in the fight against COVID-19. These immediate requirements include the purchase and provision of critical needs such as ventilators, personal protective equipment, testing kits, pharmaceuticals, food and supplies for health care workers as well as supporting the dissemination of official COVID-19 related information.

The group’s pledge of funds to support the fight against COVID-19 is just one element of the multipronged approach it has adopted in response to the pandemic. The group has already taken several steps to safeguard the well-being of their customers and staff, while ensuring the provision of essential banking services. It has also reached out to its customers to provide cash flow relief to those affected by the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The group’s President and CEO, Nigel Baptiste, explained: “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 has to be done at the society level. No country is immune from this virus and given our preference for open economies, we all must be interested in what happens elsewhere. Management of this virus requires global collective responsibility.”

The Republic Group recognises the dynamic nature of this situation and remains committed to a continuous assessment of its responses to ensure that the best interests of its customers, staff and communities are served.