National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited Launches Disaster Relief Fund After Passage of Hurricane Beryl

KINGSTON, Jamaica –  National Commercial Bank Jamaica Limited (NCBJ), through its philanthropic arm, NCB Foundation, on Friday announced the launch of a J$300-million disaster relief fund to support people affected by Hurricane Beryl, which ravaged several parts of the island earlier this week.

NCBanlimThe foundation, working with other approved charitable organisations, will provide support to individuals and communities impacted by the hurricane. 

This will primarily assist with the restoration of homes and farmers’ crops in more severely damaged parishes such as the southern parishes of St Elizabeth and Manchester and the western parish of Hanover.

“The fund will be established with an initial pledge of $20 million from NCB. We will also solicit corporate and individual contributions for this vital cause. All donations received will be matched by NCB, up to a maximum of $150 million,” said CEO of NCB Foundation Sheree Martin.

“We are deeply concerned for our fellow Jamaicans who have suffered emotional and financial loss due to this hurricane. This fund is an opportunity to provide a total of $300 million to help restore normalcy to their lives and communities,” said chairman of NCB Financial Group Limited Michael Lee-Chin. 

“I therefore call on our customers, other corporate entities, the general public, and the diaspora to support this initiative so that we can double your donation — for every dollar you give, NCB will match it.

Meanwhile, a senior United Nations (UN) official Dennis Zulu on Friday said cash transfers and housing assistance to the most vulnerable will be how the initial US$2.5 million in emergency funds which has so far been made available to the Jamaican Government in the wake of Hurricane Beryl will be used.

Speaking at a virtual news conference , Zulu, who is the UN resident coordinator for Jamaica, The Bahamas, Bermuda, The Cayman Islands and the Turks and Caicos Islands, said the UN has already communicated its readiness to support the Government of Jamaica

Stating that this acceptance paved the way for the UN to now be able “to stage an appropriate and tailored response”, Zulu said, “We already secured access to US$2.5 million from the emergency response fund with a potential for expanded support, depending on Government’s assessment and priorities.”

“Some of what we are looking at is getting some of the money out there in terms of income support, because some of the people who have been affected have lost livelihoods, so we are really looking towards supporting them in terms of some cash transfers, definitely shelter is one thing we are looking at because some of their buildings and houses have been destroyed; [and] ensuring the provision of clean drinking water so we don’t have an outbreak of disease,” he told the briefing.

He said the UN was also looking at the potential for support in terms of getting access to communication data.