Standard Chartered funds state hospital, SMEs in Sri Lanka

ECONOMYNEXT – Standard Chartered Bank said its funding the upgrade of a state-hospital in Sri Lanka and small and medium enterprises which will help towards reaching United Nation Sustainable Development Goals.

Standard Chartered said it had provided 3.9 billion US dollars worldwide to renewable energy, healthcare, and education, as well as microfinance and SME lending in low-income countries, according to a Sustainable Finance Impact Report.

In July 2019 the bank raised 500 million Euros from a Sustainability Bond.

“Our global focus is now taking shape in the Sri Lankan context, with the first local initiative being the funding of a EUR17.9 million loan to the Government of Sri Lanka which will support the upgrade of the existing neonatal facilities at the De Soysa Maternity Hospital in Borella,” Bingumal Thewarathanthri, CEO of Standard Chartered Sri Lanka said in a statement.

The upgrades at the De Soysa Maternity Hospital includes the design and construction of a modern building and the installation of upgraded medical equipment.

It will also include 40 special incubators for new-borns and training for the medical staff, the media statement said.

“The funding of the De Soysa Maternity Hospital is directly aligned to the SDG Goal #3 of good health and well-being, which aims to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages,” Lakshan Goonetilleke, Head of Financial Institutions, Standard Chartered Sri Lanka said.

He said over 20,000 SME loans have been provided to emerging markets including India, Kenya, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, with the objective of driving trade and fostering their emerging economies and they will continue to explore areas to finance through which they can enhance a better future.

Standard Chartered bank said it has invested 91 per cent of its sustainable finance assets in the emerging markets and 86 per cent in some of the least developed countries in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

The bank said that while there is a larger risk of climate change and broader environmental, social and governance-related challenges in the emerging markets, they also have the potential to make significant changes by advancing low carbon technology, the report said.

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According to the report, through the bank’s loans provided to microfinance institutions, it has enhanced the lives of 1.3 million people in countries such as Nepal, Tanzania and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, through its green projects, it has avoided 738,998 tons of CO2 emissions in the past year, which it says is equivalent of 217,000 people’s annual emissions in low- and middle-income countries.

(Colombo/Nov19/2020)

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