Nedbank has committed to raising money in support of the efforts of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to bolster the work of Red Cross in alleviating the challenges and suffering millions of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi residents after the devastating Cyclone Idai in March.
The IFRC has set a target of raising the equivalent of 31 million Swiss francs, which will be put towards assisting around 200 000 people directly affected by Cyclone Idai, many of who desperately need help with basic living essentials like shelter, food, water sanitation and hygiene products.
According to Lindiwe Temba, Executive Head of Nedbank Foundation, the bank’s support of the IFRC relief efforts in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi forms part of a concerted effort to deliver financial aid for relief efforts in the country. These include a groupwide drive for contributions from staff members across Nedbank and Ecobank. In addition, Nedbank will donate the full 3.5% send fee of all cross-border remittance transactions sent via the Nedbank Money app into an Ecobank or Xpress account. This will be valid till the 30th of April.
“In addition to our extensive network of banks in Africa through our partnership with Ecobank, Nedbank Group itself has subsidiary banking operations in Mozambique, so the impact of Cyclone Idai was very acutely felt across our organisation,” Temba explains, “and this, coupled with moral obligation we have to support the people of not only Mozambique but Zimbabwe and Malawi as well. This made partnering with the Red Cross an obvious course of action for us in this dire situation.”
Importantly, while immediate relief efforts are the main focus for the International Red Cross, the organisation intends continuing to help the various communities to build up their resilience for at least the next two years, particularly as the country begins the difficult process of recovering from the loss of food crops, businesses and employment opportunities. Temba points out that this long-term capacity building focus is very important to Nedbank as it aligns with the bank’s sustainability commitment to contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“Over the past two years, Nedbank has been significantly refocusing its sustainable development strategy to ensure that every aspect of our business and its operations make a tangible and meaningful contribution to many of the SDGs” Temba says, “and the relief efforts in the wake of Cyclone Idai link directly to our commitment to many of these goals, particularly those aimed at addressing, hunger, water, poverty and health and wellbeing – all of which are absolute priorities for the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi right now.”
She also points to the IFRC’s recognition of the need to address many secondary challenges facing the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi as a key catalyst for Nedbank’s involvement and commitment. “The emergency response by the Red Cross goes beyond merely providing living essentials and also addresses the significant challenges associated with the sudden displacement of millions of people into temporary living arrangements,” she explains, “in these circumstances, the potential for social violence can increase, so the relief efforts are also focused on protecting vulnerable members of society like women, children, the elderly and the disabled. These are issues that are very close to Nedbank’s heart and we hope that, through our involvement and contributions, we will be helping to ensure clean, safe, dignified and inclusive living conditions that will enable the people of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi to quickly get back on their feet and restore their country.”