Republic Bank Headquarters, Park Street, Port-of-Spain.

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Republic Financial Holdings Ltd has announced that the group will be making a total contribution of US$2 million for the purchase of ventilators, testing kits, PPE and food among other things across all of the territories in which it operates including T&T, Grenada, Guyana, Barbados, Ghana, Suriname, Cayman Islands, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Kitts and Nevis, St Maarten, Anguilla and Dominica.

Group president and CEO Nigel Baptiste said the full extent of the human tragedy as a result of COVID-19 was “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 economies, we all must be interested in what happens elsewhere. Management of this virus requires global collective responsibility,” Baptiste added.

The pledge of US$2 million falls under the bank’s 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.

The bank noted that the funding is targeted to assist with the purchase and provision of critical needs such as ventilators, PPE equipment, testing kits, food and supplies for the healthcare workers as well as supporting the all-important social distancing messages.

The bank also noted that members of the Republic Group have already taken numerous steps to safeguard the well-being of their clients and staff, while ensuring the provision of essential banking services.

The group has also reached out to its clients to provide cash flow relief to those affected by the disruption brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic stating that of this total, TT$5 million has been earmarked for T&T.

Baptiste, who is also the managing director of Republic Bank Ltd added, “While there is no good time for a crisis such as this, it comes at a particularly bad time for the T&T’s economy and for the public purse.

“There is much that needs to be done and the Government can realistically only afford to finance a fraction of what is needed. We are hopeful that our contribution will not only assist in reducing the number of cases (critical or otherwise) in T&T but also inspire generous contributions by others in the corporate community.”

The group added that it has recognised 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.