Scotiabank and RBC have donated money to Hurricane Irma relief efforts following the devastation caused in places such as Barbuda, St Maarten/St Martin and the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
In a statement issued today by its head office in Toronto, Canada, Scotiabank expressed solidarity with all of its customers, employees and communities who have been affected by Irma and said it had donated US $500,000 to organisations supporting the relief efforts in the region.
Describing the devastation caused by Irma as "heartbreaking", President and CEO of Scotiabank, Brian Porter, said "Scotiabank has been part of the affected communities for decades. We are committed to the region, and will support our customers and employees during these challenging times."
The Canadian Red Cross will receive US $250,000 of Scotiabank's donation, with the remainder being directed to initiatives supporting young people in the affected communities.
"Red Cross Societies are already active, mobilising volunteers to the possible affected areas and relaying public awareness messages. Relief supplies are on standby in Panama and the Dominican Republic to ensure an immediate response. The Canadian Red Cross has a presence in the area and is coordinating with the International Federation of the Red Cross and supporting the mobilisation of regional Red Cross teams...To make a donation to the Hurricane Irma relief fund, please visit the Canadian Red Cross website.," Scotiabank stated.
Noting that the damage associated with Hurricane Irma has resulted in a number of fatalities and caused damage to infrastructure, cutting communities off from water and electricity, the bank said its immediate focus is on ensuring the safety of its employees. We are continuing to assess the impact on our business operations."
While details are still coming in, you get a good idea of the rebuilding effort that residents and businesses such as Scotiabank face in the BVI.
In a video posted to the Facebook public group, "BVI Abroad - Hurricane Irma" by Ronald Evans on September 6, you can see an entire wall of glass missing from a section of the Scotiabank branch in Road Town, Tortola, BVI. That same branch also had holes in its outer walls and parts of the Scotiabank logo were missing. (SEE PHOTOS)
Customers who have banking questions or who require support, "can find the appropriate contact information" by searching "More Scotiabank Sites" on www.scotiabank.com
"Our thoughts continue to be with the people of the affected regions as they demonstrate strength and resilience following the devastation," Scotiabank shared.
Fellow Canadian bank, RBC Royal Bank, has made "an initial commitment of US $40,000 to Red Cross agencies in St Maarten and Antigua/Barbuda to assist with relief efforts in these countries in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma."
CEO of RBC, Caribbean Banking, Rob Johnston, said today that "the first images coming out of these islands show the extent to which Irma destroyed the homes of our employees, residents and their communities. We are committed to supporting recovery efforts and are proud to partner with the Red Cross to support the great work of first responders."
RBC’s Caribbean Incident Management Team was activated at the early warning stage of Irma’s trajectory and has been in constant communication with national agencies in the region ever since to ensure our precautionary and relief efforts are coordinated, efficient and effective.
"As the situation continues to evolve, we will assess the hurricane’s impact on our clients, employees and communities and will mobilise additional relief efforts accordingly," RBC stated.
Johnston said employees "are also stepping up to support relief efforts and we honour their commitment," as they are making donations to support relief efforts directly and through RBC’s global donations programme.
RBC assured that it "will work with national agencies, industry and government to ensure the safety of our employees and support the recovery and rebuilding efforts for our clients and communities."
Meanwhile, the ANSA McAL Group of Companies (ANSA McAL); in a memo to staff, noted that not even as some islands begin post-Irma clean up, they are bracing for possible impact from Hurricane Jose.
As such, through its subsidiary; Guardian Media Limited (GML), the conglomerate is "partnering" with the American Chamber of Commerce the Pan American Development Foundation (PADF) "to provide immediate assistance to those affected by Hurricane Irma and perhaps Jose."
PADF is dedicated to serving vulnerable people in Latin America and the Caribbean through sustainable community development. PADF’s programs have generated thousands of jobs, saved lives and property, protected vital natural resources, upgraded skills training and medical services, and improved conditions for thousands of disadvantaged Latin American and the Caribbean people.
"PADF has created a special portal for our ANSA McAL Family to make financial donations for relief for Hurricane Irma; www.padf.org/irmaamchamtt. Please visit this website and make a donation if you can."
"Logistics present a nightmare at this time, as most of the infrastructure in some of the Leeward Islands were completely destroyed. We will continue to keep you posted with what our Group is doing to assist our Caribbean family. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns," ANSA McAL informed employees.