CARITAS AND THE HOLY HOUSE OF MERCY AMONG THE NGO’S TARGETED – Epidemic generates outpouring of solidarity

– Marco Carvalho

More than a hundred million patacas donated, almost two million masks offered to the Government and a wave of solidarity never before seen in Macau. The new coronavirus challenged the Special Administrative Region with considerable difficulties, but some of the main economic agents in the territory have come together to heal the wounds Covid-19 has opened. Gaming operators and banks have been particularly active in responding to the epidemic outbreak. Institutions such as Caritas and the Holy House of Mercy are among the most benefited.

“We wish a speedy recovery to all the people and all the economies affected by the virus.” It was with these words that the Chairman of the Board of Directors of SJM – Sociedade de Jogos de Macau, Daisy Ho, justified on the 5th of February – the very same day in which the Government enforced the suspension of all gambling activities – the allocation of a 20 million patacas donation to Hubei with the purpose of helping to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the region that is at the epicenter of the pandemic outbreak.

Back then, the company founded by tycoon Stanley Ho indicated that the money would be used to buy protective gear and medical supplies, in order to contribute to the global efforts to prevent and combat the dissemination of the disease in Hubei, the Mainland province where the first cases of infection with Covid-19 were detected in December 2019.

SJM was one of the first gaming operators to join the contingency efforts to contain the outbreak – only Melco Resorts and Galaxy Entertainment Group were quicker – and since then all the remaining gaming operators and several other economic entities mobilized themselves to reinforce not only the combat against the spread of the coronavirus, but also to augment the help offered to the most disadvantaged by institutions such as Caritas, the Holy House of Mercy and Macau Red Cross.

Banco Nacional Ultramarino has been particularly active in this chapter, having announced in the period of just over a week, financial donations to three of the most active non-governmental organizations in Macau. On Wednesday, BNU announced the handout of a 100,000 patacas donation to the Red Cross to support the organizations’ operations in the wake of the epidemic outbreak.

In a statement sent to the media, the bank led by Carlos Cid Álvares underlines the work carried out by the Red Cross in Macau over the last century, especially with regard to the provision of humanitarian assistance to those facing difficulties: “Within the scope of its strategy of Social Responsibility, and similarly to what it has done in recent days, with other institutions, BNU donated 100,000 patacas to the Red Cross, in response to the Covid-19 epidemic,” the bank stated in a press release.

The donation is the third of its kind made by Banco Nacional Ultramarino since the beginning of last week. The bank had already donated a similar amount to Caritas  and to the Holy House of Mercy and announced the opening of a fundraising account in favor of the organization led by Paul Pun Chin Meng.