Press Releases

Donation of $89,000 to Barbados' National Vaccine Fund by Local Credit Unions

Presentation of funds from the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League to Minister in the Ministry of Finance, the Honourable Ryan Straughn, on behalf of the Government of Barbados’ National Vaccine Fund, on Wednesday July 21, 202, at the Masonic Lodge, Salters, St George.

Minister in the Ministry of Finance, the Honourable Ryan Straughn; (Minister of Health and Wellness Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic), Co-coordinators of the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme, Dr Elizabeth Ferdinand and Major David Clarke; General Manager of the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League, Mr. Anthony Pilgrim and Secretary of the League Mrs. Susan Fitt; Members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.

Today, the valiant and coordinated efforts to stave off the worst effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by teams from the various sections of the Ministry of Health and Wellness, wider government, and partners in the private sector, are paying off.

Even in an atmosphere of loud opposition from those who reject the use of COVID-19 vaccines, we are pleased to see that close to 100 000 people in Barbados have come forward to be vaccinated. Almost 74 000 as at July 20, are fully vaccinated.

A Personal Decision But A National Cause

This was not just a critical personal decision to protect one’s health. This is very much about protecting the lives and livelihoods of all of us who reside on this island.

Admittedly, there is still much more work to be done to convince more Barbadians, particularly those in the under 35-age group to take the vaccine, but important progress has been made with almost 30 per cent of the adult population fully vaccinated.

For while vaccinations are no panacea, they offer another important layer of protection against the worst forms of the illness and a significant reduction in mortality rates. Vaccines also bring us closer to herd immunity, which greatly reduces the chances of new, deadlier variants developing within our population.

Seen The Effects

We in the Credit Union movement in Barbados recognise that the tentacles of this pandemic have not remained in the health sector. The coronavirus has upended our economy and undermined almost every attempt at jumpstarting economic growth. It has been the precipitator of widespread unemployment, as our main foreign exchange earner – the tourism sector, is threatened by every wave of the disease.

We have witnessed first-hand the damage that has been done to the financial and personal goals of many credit union members by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What we are pleased to report, however, is the response of our Credit Unions. We have extended moratoria to members, lengthened payment periods, restructured loans, and have found creative ways to work with members to cushion the effects, as they wade through this period of uncertainty.

We fully appreciate the need to keep the Barbados economy going, to avoid further disabling lockdowns, while at the same time, keeping our communities and members safe.

Play Our Part

It is for these reasons, and in line with Government’s national strategic effort to achieve herd immunity and promote economic stability during the pandemic, that we are pleased to make this presentation on behalf of the Credit Union Movement today to the National Vaccination Fund of $89,000.

The Credit Union movement is an important partner of Government. Our members are in every sector and every industry. No issue of national interest can be divorced from the Credit Union movement, and we are pleased to play our part by contributing to this important national cause.

To date, the funds represent our single largest monetary contribution to an individual cause, and we expect it will not be our last. We have donated funds in the past to hurricane affected countries in the region such as Dominica and The Bahamas, as well as to our brothers and sisters in St Vincent affected recently by the La Soufriere volcano eruptions.

We are in the business of being our brother’s keeper.

Minister Straughn, it is an honour to make this presentation to you and to the Government, from the Barbados Co-operative & Credit Union League, the representative body of credit unions on the island.


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