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Access Finance launches US$200k COVID-19 relief initiative

Finance
Access Forex, a unit of Access Finance Zimbabwe, has committed an initial US$200 000 to assist the most vulnerable segments of society and communities across the country who are now reeling from the negative impact of drought and the global coronavirus pandemic.

Access Forex, a unit of Access Finance Zimbabwe, has committed an initial US$200 000 to assist the most vulnerable segments of society and communities across the country who are now reeling from the negative impact of drought and the global coronavirus pandemic.

The current drought, which has resulted in a food crisis in the country coupled with the economic slowdown, and the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the resultant subsequent lockdown have had debilitating effects on families and communities.

Access Forex, a bureau de change which provides remittance services for Zimbabweans in the diaspora, mainly in the United Kingdom and South Africa, has taken the move to compliment efforts by the government and various other humanitarian organisations to help mitigate the devastating negative impact of dry weather conditions, the pandemic and economic downturn.

In partnership with churches and the non-governmental organisation community, as well as government, Access Forex will provide food aid in the form of hampers to the vulnerable and needy in the society.

“Since most Zimbabweans are currently unemployed and are largely surviving on informal sector activities, they have been badly exposed to this situation and need help to go through these times of adversity,” George Chirwa, the executive director of the firm said at the virtual launch of the initiative yesterday.

The intervention will begin in Harare, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls before being rolled out to the rest of the country.

“Access Forex is a Zimbabwean business and as such it has some corporate social responsibilities. We believe that local organisations and people can play a big role in resolving Zimbabwe’s current challenges,” Chirwa said.

“This initiative is our small way as a responsible corporate to citizens of supporting the $100 million fund recently announced by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Hon Prof Mthuli Ncube. Government needs help form all of us to deal with these challenges.”

He also challenged other corporates and Zimbabweans in the diaspora to join the effort, and contribute to the goal of committing US$1 million to serve those in need and help improve their lives.

While the initiative is primarily targeted at helping people affected by COVID-19, it would also be used to help underprivileged communities going forward.

“Through such strong partnerships, vulnerable people across Zimbabwe will receive food aid as we try to mitigate the impact of these combined adversities,” Chirwa said. — STAFF REPORTER