Standard Chartered has announced that Joint Medical Store, the Ugandan not-for-profit organisation, has become the first client to make a drawdown under the Bank’s US$1 billion financing commitment to help companies tackling Covid-19.
JMS’ drawdown for US$2.2m on a loan facility will help them provide healthcare facilities and supply masks, sanitisers and medicines in Uganda.
The private NGO, which was established in 1979, is also licensed by the National Drug Authority to engage in the import, export and wholesale of medicines and related health supplies.
Standard Chartered launched the programme on March 30 to provide financing on a not-for-profit basis to companies making products and services that help the front line fight the virus and its impacts.
The bank has received a strong response from clients around the world and there are a number of disbursals nearing fruition.
Simon Cooper, CEO of Corporate & Institutional Banking at Standard Chartered, said, “Our priority is to help get much-needed products and services to the front line and we’re extremely proud to start rolling out the financing on this programme with Joint Medical Store.
“Africa is an important part of our Group strategy. I’m particularly pleased that we’re able to use our network there to make an impact in the fight against Covid-19.”
Sunil Kaushal, CEO, Africa & Middle East at Standard Chartered also said that the deal signified the collaborative approach the Bank is taking with its clients in Africa and the Middle East to fight Covid-19.
“We are committed to playing our part in the fight against Covid-19 and working with our clients who are focusing their business operations to tackle the virus.
“With many markets facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, and as an international bank deeply rooted on the continent and unsurpassed network business, it is important that we connect financing to where it is needed most during these uncertain times,” said Kaushal.
Dr Bildard Baguma, Executive Director, Joint Medical Store said they have been supplying the Government of Uganda, NGOs, and the private sector with medical supplies for over 40 years in Uganda, however, the COVID- 19 pandemic has increased the urgency for provision for medical supplies in the country.
“With the USD2.2m facility provided by Standard Chartered, it will enable us to respond to this urgent need to provide the front-line Health workers with high-quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) which is integral in maintaining health and safety during the pandemic. We will also be providing critical care equipment to hospitals (ICUs),” said Baguma.
Dr Baguma also said the rates provided by Standard Chartered will help the company pass on lower costs of the PPE and critical care equipment to their clients.
“COVID -19 has disrupted and stressed the supply chain and our suppliers cannot keep the previously long-term credit arrangements and meet our increased demand. The facility will go a long way in enabling us to meet the high and urgent demand for PPE,” he said.