Health Covid Bankers

The Ghana Association of Bankers (GAB) Tuesday presented cheques to three key bodies; and medical supplies to the Ministry of Health to aid their efforts at combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) received $325,000, while the Community Water and Sanitation Agency and the Ghana Association of Doctors in Residency got GHC 200,000.00 each.

The Health Ministry’s donation includes 200,000 pieces of hand washing facilities and Personal Protection Equipment.

These would be distributed to health facilities across the country, while GAB also works with the Ministry to ascertain the essential needs from time to time.

Mr Alhassan Andani the President of the GAB, who made the presentation at a brief ceremony, in Accra, said it was part of additional interventions by the banks to mitigate the financial impact of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on the public.

The outbreak, he stated, took the whole world by surprise, hence the Associations resolve to support critical institutions to be able to effectively and efficiently play their roles.

“This matter is not something that one can plan for, and as a result, the Association thought it wise to mobilise urgently to provide some aid to the institutions like Noguchi, which is at the forefront to be able to conduct the tests as experts recommend,” he explained.

Each of the organisations, he noted, was playing an important role including in the area of providing water and sanitation services to rural folks and caring for the sick.

Additionally, he said, GAB was supporting the ‘Feed the Kayayee Project’ with GHC 300,000.00 to provide 5,000 meals for 10 days to vulnerable groups.

Mr Andani, who is also the Managing Director of Stanbic Bank, said as part of the mitigation measures, the Association also agreed to a general 200 basis points interest rate cut on all existing local currency-denominated loans and for all new loans to be sanctioned by member banks.

Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang, the Director of NMIMR, on behalf of the beneficiaries, thanked GAB for joining the global and national efforts towards halting the spread of the COVID-19 through their donation.

The gesture, he said, was in line with the global vision of building innovative partnerships stipulated under Sustainable Development Goal 17 to break barriers.

He said it would help the premier research body to conduct more testing to inform the next step of action of the country’s strategy towards eradicating the pandemic.

Present at the ceremony were Mr D. K. Mensah, Chief Executive Officer, and other members of the Association, including Mr Daniel Kwei-Kumah Sackey, the Managing Director of Ecobank Ghana.

GAB has set up a GHS10 million COVID-19 Relief Response Fund to mobilise donations from its member banks.

It is also at the final stage of discussions with the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance to set up gross loans, on preferential terms, of up to three billion Ghana cedis to pharmaceutical companies, which decide to switch production lines to rather focus on critical medical equipment or enhance the capacity of existing plants.

GAB, which has 23 members, is the mouthpiece for the universal banking sector.

It promotes policies and initiatives, which balance the interests of banks and the public to their mutual benefits.


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