Saturday 8 August, 2020

Private sector fund being launched with an initial $5 million

The private sector-led fund announced earlier this month will be managed by R3 Cayman Foundation which is being set up to support readiness, relief and recovery efforts in the Cayman Islands in the event of a natural or manmade emergency or disaster, including, but not exclusive to, COVID-19. Once incorporated, R3 Foundation Cayman will be registered as a non-profit organisation.

With an initial grant of CI$1 million from Ken Dart, R3 Cayman Foundation has already received additional commitments of nearly CI$2 million from a number of individual and corporate donors in the private sector. Mr Dart has pledged to match these donations up to an additional CI$4 million.

“By pooling resources and expertise, the private sector can leverage its strengths to make an invaluable contribution to each of the three islands’ preparation, response and resilience in times of national emergency,” said Mark VanDevelde, CEO of Dart Enterprises. “Drawing on the new Foundation Company legislation, R3 Cayman Foundation's Board of Directors will be responsible for all decisions from this point forward, including how funds will be allocated towards readiness, relief and recovery efforts for COVID-19 and national emergencies in the future,” he added.

R3 Cayman Foundation will complement existing government-led national efforts by supporting local non-profit organisations with funding for projects in the three Rs of a disaster cycle:

1. Readiness: safeguarding the Cayman Islands by preparing for a range of potential natural (biological, climatological) or manmade (technical, chemical) disasters.

2. Relief: coordinating assistance for people or entities affected by a disaster or emergency.

3. Recovery: rebuilding communities, stimulating the economy and protecting the environment through short and mid-term initiatives.

R3 Cayman Foundation is in the final phase of being established as a Foundation Company. Its board of directors will be made up of Joannah Bodden Small, Annikki Brown, Pilar Bush, Chris Duggan, Woody Foster, Richard Hew, Bryan Hunter, Nicoela McCoy, Carla Reid and David Ritch. His Excellency the Governor Martyn Roper will serve as Principal, a key governance role with sole authority for the appointment and removal of Supervisors. Former Attorney General Richard Coles will be appointed as a Supervisor of the Foundation.

The law firm Appleby advised on the new Foundation Company structure and local accounting firm of PricewaterhouseCoopers has indicated its willingness to provide annual audit services on a pro bono basis.

The Board will meet later in the coming days to begin mapping the priority areas for COVID-19 related funding.

“The intent of R3 Cayman Foundation is to complement the good work already being done in our community and consolidate private sector support of organisations active in these areas. By collaborating and communicating with non-profits and government agencies, we can ensure a more efficient and thoughtful distribution of funds,” said Woody Foster.

The immediate priority for R3 Foundation will be to identify and fund projects which help alleviate the substantial human and economic impact of COVID-19 on the community, and enable the Cayman Islands to come back better and more resilient from the devastating pandemic.

Further information about R3 Cayman Foundation and the initiatives it will support will be announced and shared on R3foundation.ky.

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