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First Citizens pledges US$1 Million to help rebuild Haiti

Press Release February 1, 2010

The devastation in Haiti as a result of the 7.0 earthquake that hit on Tuesday 12th January is unquestionable. The President’s Palace, churches, hospitals, schools along with thousands of homes and businesses were demolished by the powerful tremors.

Based on our experience with assisting Grenada after Hurricane Ivan destroyed most of the island, First Citizens now has first hand knowledge on the approach to disaster relief efforts and what is required both in the long and short terms.

Thus far, the immediate response from the Group has been as follows:

  • Opened the First Citizens Haiti Relief Fund Account which as at 31st January 2010 had a balance of $388K. All the funds deposited to this account at the said date will be forwarded to United Way to manage on our behalf.
  • Facilitated the opening of several accounts for NGO’s and other agencies
  • Supported the T20 Match between Trinidad and Guyana at the Oval from which all proceeds will go into a special Haiti relief fund.
  • The Staff of the First Citizens Group (including CMMB) donated clothes, money and food stuff via an internal collection drive.

Having established that sustainability was a key factor in the Grenada initiative; our decision was to focus on the rebuilding phase. This allowed us the time to explore all the options and determine that rebuilding the Samaritan Presbyterian School in Union St. Mark, Grenada was appropriate and would impact positively on the everyday life of people of that remote country village.

Due to the level of destruction in Haiti and what is required in the long term, we have decided to replicate the approach adopted in Grenada. The Group sought and received approval from the Board to allocate US $1Million towards the effort to rebuild Haiti and will explore the following options:

  • Rebuild a School
  • Build an Orphanage
  • Build a Home for the Elderly
  • Provide full scholarships (quantity to be determined) for young Haitians

The Group will send a team into Haiti within the next few months to assess all the options and submit the relevant recommendation to the Board for final approval.

Dexter Charles
Manager-Group Corporate Communications
February 1st 2010

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