Republic Bank Donates to National Vaccine Fund

Republic Bank (Barbados) Limited made a BBD $250,000 donation to the National Vaccine Fund at the Barbados Defence Force’s Hodgson Hall on Bay Street, St. Michael.

The donation was made by the Bank’s Managing Director and CEO, Anthony Clerk and received by Minister in the Ministry of Finance, Ryan Straughn, along with co-coordinators of the National Vaccine Fund, Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand and Major David Clarke.

In his short remarks, Clerk said the Bank was pleased to make a contribution to the vaccine procurement effort. It follows on from the $400,000 donation the Bank made to the Ministry of Health last year to assist with the purchase of vital equipment and pharmaceuticals.

“This donation seems even more important because it is to protect against COVID-19 rather than to fight against it. We feel that that difference is small but significant. We feel that the vaccine donation is extremely important to Barbados because this, as far as we are concerned, is how we can start to get out of this malaise that we are in and return to some semblance of normalcy - to get the economy back on its feet, to get Tourism back on its feet and to start to go back to our normal lives, whatever that may look like,” he said.

He further noted: “Access to vaccines is a global issue and a bugbear for most nations. It has also shown up the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have nots, the large territories and super powers and small, vulnerable nations like Barbados. But I think Barbados has done very well, both in terms of procuring vaccines and the roll out.”

He praised Prime Minister Mia Mottley and her cabinet for their management of the response to the pandemic. He encouraged other businesses and individuals to donate and lend their support to the vaccine programme.

“At Republic Bank, through our corporate social responsibility programme, the Power to Make a Difference (PMAD), we give a lot of donations every year and they are all very important and for very good causes. But this one in particular I think is even more important and I feel very strongly about it,” he said.

He affirmed the Bank’s commitment to doing its part to support the Government in fighting COVID-19 and assisting customers in surviving despite the challenges.

In his remarks, Minister Straughn thanked the Bank for the donation. “Barbadians are generous at heart and therefore in a very strained environment economically, it is important for us to be able to share as corporate citizens in the effort because we know that it is important that we provide an environment such that persons can go to work in a safe country, doing safe work and therefore, these vaccination efforts allow people to get back to work and back to some level of normality as soon as possible,” he said.

The National Vaccine Fund has been created to assist the government in paying for more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Both individuals and companies can contribute to the fund.

May 19, 2021
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