Disaster relief fund reaches R38m mark


Representatives of the two banks with Mrs Nair and a Red Cross representative during yesterday’s hand-over ceremony

Habib Bank and Savings Bank made donations of R250,000 each to the chairman of the National Disaster Relief Fund Lekha Nair yesterday morning. This was at State House, where the donations were made by Savings Bank’s chief executive Michael Benstrong and Habib Bank’s country manager Bilal Ahmed Qureshi.

This was in the presence of the relief fund member Colette Servina and State House officials.
Mrs Nair said they had received R2 million in donations this week alone, including US $100,000 from the government of India presented by the Indian embassy.
“We have spent around R2 million so far, giving it to farmers and the Red Cross Society of Seychelles,” she said.

Mr Qureshi said it is their duty to support the economy as well as society, while Mr Benstrong said they feel honoured to be able to contribute to the fund since they also have a branch at Anse Aux Pins which serves the residents there and beyond.

“We had already started to help the families there who had come to knock at our doors, and today we are making this formal donation to the fund, and we believe it will be put to good use in the getting of provisions and building of infrastructures and helping in whatever way needed by the families hit by the spate of bad weather recently,” said Mr Benstrong.

The disaster relief fund was appointed exactly one month ago by President James Michel after some areas of Mahé were hit hard by bad weather as a result of the Felleng tropical depression.
Mrs Nair said the total cost of the damages were estimated to be R120 million, and it is their wish to continue receiving donations so that the maximum help possible can be given to those affected.