CIBC First Caribbean Contributes EC $90,000 towards National Vaccine Effort   

The national COVID-19 vaccine purchase programme received a ‘shot-in-the-arm’ on Tuesday with a major donation from one of the leading financial institutions in the country.

General Manager of CIBC First Caribbean, Ladesa James-Williams, presented a donation of EC$90,000 towards the national effort. 

“We would have heard the Prime Minister last week speak about the ongoing need for funding, so that we could purchase more vaccines; this cheque is our contribution to that effort. CIBC First Caribbean is very happy to be here today. On behalf of CIBC First Caribbean, we delight in responding to the request and to support your plea for all of the citizenry to be vaccinated. I am here to provide the donation of EC $90,000,” Williams stated

The General Manager explained that her financial institution is known for its corporate social responsibility. “We adhere to a creed of corporate social responsibility; on Monday, March 8, 2021, the CIBC donated $11,000 to the eleven Secondary Schools that are led by female principals, in observance of International Women’s Day,” Williams indicated. 

In accepting the donation on behalf of the Government and People pf Antigua and Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne thanked Williams and CIBC First Caribbean for their timely contribution. “I would like to take the opportunity to thank Mrs. Williams who presented us a cheque of $90,000 dollars on behalf of CIBC First Caribbean International Bank. We are very grateful for this contribution. As I said before, we have not formally solicited any contribution from anyone; but, we are in a national crisis, a global pandemic, and we believe that this is a time when we have an obligation to be our brother’s keeper and our sister’s protector.” 

The Prime Minister continued, “There is an expectation that our corporate citizens and wealthy residents and citizens, will exercise some level of responsibility and contribute towards the national vaccine effort. CIBC’s regional headquarters would have donated $750,000 USD to the region; so, evidently CIBC is leading from the front and I am hoping that the domestic banks here will follow the lead of CIBC and they will make similar or even greater contributions towards the vaccine efforts.” 

Earlier this week, CMC reported that “ten countries across the region will get a major boost to their COVID-19 vaccination programmes as a result of a USD $500,000 donation from regional bank CIBC First Caribbean. The donation to national vaccination programmes is being made by the bank through its charitable arm—the First Caribbean International ComTrust Foundation. The Trust will support the purchase of vaccines in Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, St Kitts, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Trinidad and Tobago. Additionally, the Bank is providing a separate contribution of USD $250,000 to cover the cost of vaccinating members of its 2,500 staff who wish to avail themselves of the vaccine in those countries, bringing its total contribution to the regional vaccination effort to USD $750,000.”

During the ceremony, PM Browne highlighted that one of the struggles in getting vaccines is having access to it. “As you know, we have been struggling to purchase vaccines, not because of an issue of not having any money, but having access to vaccines represents a significant problem for all countries within the region.” Browne said. 

Prime Minister Browne continued by urging citizens to get vaccinated. “I want to appeal to all Antiguans and Barbudans, when the opportunity arises for us to get additional vaccines and to vaccinate everyone that we avail ourselves of the vaccination. It is the only way to achieve herd immunity and to return to normality.”

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