The Covid-19 pandemic has affected our lives in totally new ways and given rise to an unprecedented wave of solidarity around the world. For the last few weeks, all of us have been doing what we can to combat this scourge, whether by continuing to work despite the risks, complying with the lockdown rules or helping vulnerable people.
Seeing the issues and repercussions caused by this public health crisis, at both the social and economic levels, UBP and the de Picciotto family quickly joined in the fight against Covid-19 by making a CHF 2.5 million donation. That money has been given not just to organisations working to help the neediest people in society, who have been hit hard by the crisis, but also to projects that have a direct, practical impact, aiming to accelerate the economic recovery and support caregivers and hospitals, as well as driving innovation and medical research.
“We wanted to contribute to the wave of solidarity currently taking place, and we are happy to be providing vital support, via various organisations, to society’s most vulnerable people during this unprecedented public health and economic crisis.”
The de Picciotto family
As part of the various Covid-19-related projects it is supporting, the Bank also wanted to turn its approach into a collective effort by involving all of the Group’s staff members. They have been invited to take part, via the Alaya digital platform, in the various initiatives adopted by UBP, and the Bank has also pledged to match any financial donations made by its teams.
Supporting hospitals and caregivers
Medical staff and hospitals were affected by this public health crisis at a very early stage. They are playing an essential role on the front line, and are having to deal with extreme situations to protect and help their patients. UBP wanted to show its gratitude by contributing to funds supporting Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) and the Ticino Cantonal Hospital in Switzerland, but also the Royal Free Charity in London and Give2Asia in Hong Kong.
Helping the neediest people in society
Disadvantaged people and families are being hard hit by the crisis and its economic repercussions. Through Swiss Solidarity (‘Chaîne du Bonheur’) and its 81 partner organisations in Switzerland, UBP is helping people in urgent need. In London, the Bank is supporting The Big Issue, which ordinarily enables more than 1,500 vulnerable or homeless people to generate an income by selling magazines in public places; they have been unable to do so since the lockdown. UBP is supporting The London Community Foundation, which distributes all the money it receives to various local organisations. The Bank has also donated to The Courage Fund in Singapore, a charity that works with the country’s most vulnerable households, which have been affected particularly badly by the pandemic.
Financing research and innovation
Driven by its spirit of innovation, UBP is supporting several projects that aim to provide practical solutions in the fight against Covid-19, and also to allow lockdown measures to be eased in a closely monitored and safe way. They include projects launched by the Geneva University Hospitals to develop two apps: Pro HUG-Covid, which monitors patients at home, and COVID-Pro-View, will help identify potential new Covid-19 cases.
At the same time, UBP is supporting the RISC-19-ICU study being carried out by Zurich University Hospital to assess the risk of Covid-19 patients developing serious illnesses as a result of the virus, and a clinical trial named Copep, launched by the Geneva University Hospitals, Basel University Hospital and the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, to study the impact of prophylactic treatments for Covid-19.
Helping the economy to recover
Alongside other donors, UBP is involved in a large-scale serological study named Sero-Cov-Work+, as part of an unprecedented public-private partnership with Lausanne technical university EPFL, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG), the Geneva University Hospitals and three private hospitals in Geneva (Clinique Hirslanden, Clinique des Grangettes and Hôpital de la Tour).
Finally, in line with its desire to make an active contribution to supporting the economy, UBP is taking part in the Swiss federal government’s programme of granting guaranteed loans to small and medium-sized enterprises, which came into force on 26 March.