Ugandan NGO Converts Facility To Fight Covid-19

Joint Medical Store from Uganda inaugurates Standard Chartered’s US$1 billion financing program to help tackle Covid-19

Employees of Joint Medical Store carrying medicines and other health products

Joint Medical Store (JMS), a Ugandan not-for-profit organization, has made a drawdown under Standard Chartered Bank, to help fight against coronavirus.

Established in 1979, the private NGO is also licensed by the National Drug Authority to engage in the import, export, and wholesale of medicines and related health supplies. Its drawdown of US $2.2m on a loan facility will help in providing healthcare facilities and supply masks, sanitizers, and medicines in those living in Uganda.

Standard Chartered launched the program 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 program with Joint Medical Store. Africa is a very important part of our Group strategy and 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 our 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 an unsurpassed network business, it is important that we connect financing to where it is needed most during these uncertain times.”

Bildard Baguma, Executive Director, Joint Medical Store said, “We 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 pandemics 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).”

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 concluded.


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