RHB Banking Group (“RHB” or “Group”) has allocated a total of RM3.5 million, or nearly $820,000, for humanitarian efforts, with RM2.5 million, equivalent to approximately $580,000, also disbursed to Southeast Asia countries affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The aid comes as the region reels from the effects of the virus, which has infected over nine million people worldwide and claimed the lives of nearly 470,000.
RHB is the fourth-largest, fully-integrated financial services group in Malaysia. Since its founding in 1994, RHB has expanded to other countries in Asia, including Cambodia, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Vietnam, Brunei, Indonesia and Laos.
Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand are among the countries that have benefited from RHB’s generosity and contributions to fight against the deadly virus.
RM1 million, or over $230,000, had been contributed to the Malaysian Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 Fund to ensure that the supply of personal protective equipment remains continuous. Another RM1 million was donated to MERCY Malaysia through the Association of Banks in Malaysia for various initiatives that seek to curb the spread of the virus.
In line with their humanitarian mission, the Group also provided financial aid and necessities to more than 2,000 vulnerable and deserving members (from 234 families) of the Malaysian community. The beneficiaries include 20 orphanages and shelter homes.
In addition, RHB donated more than 20,000 packed meals to some 2,000 frontliners including doctors, nurses and other health workers working on different shifts at eight hospitals in Malaysia that are attending to COVID-19 patients within the Movement Control Order (“MCO”) period.
RHB’s humanitarian relief efforts also extended to provide additional support to its employees who had been affected by the pandemic. Through its internal Humanitarian Fund, financial assistance was provided to employees who have been directly impacted by COVID-19 or whose immediate family members have lost jobs or sources of income, received pay cuts and have been put on unpaid leave due to the implementation of the MCO.
As of June 16, a total of about RM450,000 had been collected from the Group’s employees, which in turn, benefitted 520 RHB employees who require financial assistance.
Cambodia, Laos and Thailand
RHB has also extended financial assistance to underserved communities in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand who have likewise felt the negative impacts of the pandemic.
A total of 185 families in Cambodia and Laos who have lost their source of income, either totally or partially, due to the COVID-19 pandemic benefitted from the assistance.
The disbursement is timely due to the significant impact of the pandemic on the labour market in Indochina, as evidenced by revenue losses across the sectors of both Laos and Cambodia and subsequent massive lay-offs and furloughs. About 70 percent of the recipients of the humanitarian aid are those who had been displaced due to closure of factories in both countries.
In Thailand, RHB donated THB100,000, or $3,000, through the Association of Thai SecuritiesCompanies to procure medical equipment and to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients at a government hospital.