As global statistics continue to rise, the OECS Commission remains steadfast in garnering private sector support to assist Member State governments in the fight against COVID-19. The Bank of Saint Lucia (BOSL) joined the response efforts by partnering with the OECS to mitigate against the possible health impacts that threaten the region through a US$40,000.00 contribution towards purchasing ventilators.
Acting Managing Director Medford Francis was pleased to register the Bank’s commitment to this initiative:
“Helping our customers weather this tempestuous time, is but a small fraction of this global fight against COVID-19, which will undoubtedly dominate the socio-economic and financial landscape for 2020 and beyond. As a strong corporate citizen, it is our obligation to make a bold commitment to this humanitarian cause.”
OECS Director General, Dr Didacus Jules thanked BOSL for their timely support given the current competing global demands for vital equipment. This contribution, he said, will add to the basket of resources available to increase the quantity of equipment and medical supplies to be sourced through the Commission’s pooled procurement. Dr Jules gave insight to the Organisation’s track record through its Pharmaceutical Procurement Service:
“Our pooled procurement process has enabled us over the past 30 years to source and supply over 800 medicines and a wide range of medical equipment and supplies to the Member States of the OECS.”
The Bank of Saint Lucia acknowledged the critical role of banks during this humanitarian and health crisis, and took the opportunity to highlight measures taken at all its centres, having due regard for the safety, protection and business interests of their customers:
“Bank of Saint Lucia in this regard, began to undertake significant changes in its approach to enhancing in-branch employee and customer safety protocol; enhancing capacity in the provision of sound financial advisory services; implementing strong measures for the management of credit with respect to moratoria; debt restructuring and management; and an increased thrust towards the digitization of processes – including the online sign up for online and mobile banking.”
The Commission is hopeful for continued support from private sector agencies in this initiative, which will undoubtedly alleviate the health, economic and social impact of COVID-19 on the OECS region.