Empowering Vulnerable Families and Caretakers: UNICEF and Sampath Bank Join Hands to Roll Out Essential Cash Assistance

Empowering Vulnerable Families and Caretakers UNICEF and Sampath Bank Join Hands to Roll Out Essential Cash Assistance

Businesscafe - UNICEF and Sampath Bank PLC came together to form a ground-breaking partnership aimed to deliver critical support to nearly 120,000 vulnerable mothers and caretakers with young children facing challenges accessing proper nutrition and healthcare services amidst the prevailing economic crisis in Sri Lanka.

This collaboration aims to address the pressing needs of those who are most affected, emphasising the importance of compassion and collective action between humanitarian organizations and corporates during trying times.

Before the crisis, available statistics indicated that numerous children and families in Sri Lanka were living in vulnerable conditions.

Recent data proved that poverty and vulnerability have escalated over the past three years.

Numbers from 2019 reveal that 42.2% of children aged 0 to 4 years old are experiencing multidimensional poverty, with more than one-third of them suffering from underweight or stunted growth.

New government data show the dramatic consequences of the crisis, with malnutrition levels in children aged 6 to 59 months increasing from 13.2 per cent in 2021 to 19.8 per cent in 2022.

In recognition of the urgent situation, leveraging its expertise in the financial sector, Sampath Bank has taken on a pivotal role in this partnership by developing an independent payment gateway system exclusively for this purpose.

With the touch of a button, UNICEF can initiate cash deposits to beneficiary accounts, ensuring swift and efficient assistance reaches those in need.

As a responsible banking and financial organisation deeply rooted in the people of Sri Lanka, Sampath Bank's active involvement emphasises its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for future generations.

Speaking on this partnership, Mrs. Ayodhya Iddawela Perera, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC said

“Sampath Bank is extremely honoured to be able to partner with UNICEF to address the pressing concern of child malnutrition in Sri Lanka.

We will play the important role of ‘Facilitating Banker’ to effect smooth disbursements of the humanitarian funds to beneficiaries of UNICEF in BULK CEFT modality via our Corporate Front-end 'Sampath Vishwa Corporate' with reconciliation assistance as well.

As an entity that has always placed paramount importance on contributing to the socio-economic well-being of all Sri Lankans, we are hopeful that the identified young children will have a better start to their fruitful lives ahead.”

Under this programme, mothers and caretakers of young children born between 1 May 2021 and 31 December 2022 in the identified districts are eligible to benefit.

To qualify, the mother or caretaker must be a resident of the selected priority districts, including Puttalam, Anuradhapura, Monaragala, Kegalle, Kilinochchi, and Mullaitivu.

Each eligible mother or caretaker receives a monthly cash transfer per eligible child for a period of up to four months.

This will help to alleviate the financial burdens and empower families to provide their children with the necessary nutrition and care.

Speaking to a beneficiary on how this partnership has assisted her child, Samantha, a mother from Dehiowita, Kegalle District said “Thanks to that money, I could buy fruit and meat for my child.

I am working in a factory but with the economic crisis the money is not enough to properly feed him.”

Ensuring the responsible and effective use of these funds, Sarvodaya has been entrusted with the task of following up with beneficiaries.

Sarvodaya, renowned for its comprehensive development and conflict resolution programs in villages across Sri Lanka, will play a vital role in ensuring that the transferred funds are utilised for nutrition and other child development activities, thereby maximising the impact of this collaboration.

Through the UNICEF-Sampath Bank partnership, hope emerges for vulnerable mothers, caretakers, and young children in Sri Lanka.

Together, they embody the power of unity and compassion in addressing pressing socio-economic issues.

By prioritising the most vulnerable members of society and providing them with the means to overcome adversity, this collaboration reflects Sampath Bank’s commitment to act as a beacon of resilience for the people.


Photo Caption (From right to left) UNICEF’s Amandine Frisetti – Social Policy Specialist, Raveendra Chanaka Bandara Unantenne, – Finance Officer, Bismarck Swangin – Chief of Communications, Advocacy and Partnership, Ruthie Pelpola – Operations Manager and Christian Skoog – Representative with Sampath Bank’s Ayodhya Iddawela Perera – Managing Director, Shashi Kandambi Jassim – Senior Deputy General Manager – International Banking, Tharaka Ranwala – Senior Deputy General Manager – Marketing & Customer Care, Dushyantha Dassanayake – Assistant General Manager – Information Technology Systems, Halin Hettigoda – Assistant General Manager – Deposit Mobilization, Amila Thewarapperuma – Head of Sales and Nileesha Ponnamperuma – Manager – Cash Management & Integrations.


Last modified on Friday, 07 July 2023 10:04