Standard Chartered has expressed its commitment to continue to introduce solutions to alleviate the financial burden inflicted on businesses by the Covid-19.
To this end, the bank said it has launched a series of funds and financial assistance to the tune of $1 billion to finance African businesses that are affected by the pandemic.
The global financial institution in a statement made available to THISDAY, disclosed that as part of its efforts to ensure a sustainable economic development, it recently launched a $50 million global relief fund to directly aid those impacted by the pandemic and support emergency efforts led by charitable organisations across the globe.
The Regional Head of Corporate Affairs and Brand & Marketing, Standard Chartered Africa & Middle East, Olga Arara-Kimani stated that the organisation has also initiated measures ranging from short-term payment holidays, the extension of the tenure of a loan, the option to pay interest only on the component of the loan or offering discounts on domestic payments in order to stimulate the market.
Arara-Kimani added: “At the bank, we are continuing to present a united front against this common threat. As of May, our donations to philanthropic organisations, such as the Red Cross and UNICEF, as well as local non-government organisations and government partners in Africa and the Middle East totalled $11.8 million.
“These funds were directed to provide emergency relief in countries across the region impacted by the pandemic. Funding to UNICEF for example will support the immediate protection and education of vulnerable children in Pakistan and eight markets in Africa and other such activities remote education via TV, radio, online and mobile platforms.
“The capital will also aid in funding 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.”
The statement further noted that, “to continue adding value during the crisis, companies need to shift their thinking. Public-private partnerships are emerging, supported by a surge in solidarity funds across the continent. Covid-19 is creating new needs, while enforcing enormous financial pressures across a broad spectrum of society.
“As the fallout from the crisis continues, the private sector must continue to partner with non-profit organisations and government institutions to ensure the resiliency and stability of local communities.”