Scotiabank Announces Global Strategy to Help Combat HIV/AIDS

Three pillars established to unite Scotiabank's efforts around the world in further support of United Nations Global Compact

TORONTO, Dec. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Scotiabank today announced the introduction of a Global HIV/AIDS Strategy to unite and strengthen its programs and initiatives across more than 55 countries aimed at addressing this life-threatening disease. This new strategy is part of Scotiabank's global community-based philanthropic program, Bright Future, and will bring together all of the Bank's efforts under three pillars in the fight against HIV/ AIDS.

"Scotiabank has been a longstanding and active participant in global efforts to raise awareness of HIV/AIDS and support people affected," said Sylvia Chrominska, Group Head of Global Human Resources and Communications at Scotiabank. "The creation of this strategy and supporting pillars builds on the good work that has already been done across our global network. It also underscores Scotiabank's commitment to the United Nations Global Compact and more specifically, the UN's Millennium Development Goal 6 on combating HIV/AIDS."

The three pillars are:

  1. Fighting Stigma and Discrimination
    Scotiabank will continue to strengthen and implement workplace best practices in its offices and branches. With over 75,000 employees in more than 55 countries worldwide, Scotiabank is in a unique position to combat stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV/AIDS.
  2. Promoting Awareness and Education
    Scotiabank will continue its work in promoting awareness and education on HIV/AIDS and seek out new initiatives with a particular focus on children and youth.
  3. Contributing Donations and Volunteering
    Scotiabank will continue to promote and leverage the work of local grassroots  organizations, employee volunteer initiatives and in-kind contributions in  countries around the world through its Global Bright Future Program.

"As a leading bank in the Caribbean, Central and Latin America, we know that HIV/AIDS is a health concern that our communities around the world are facing," said, Claude Norfolk, Senior Vice President of International Banking for Scotiabank in the Caribbean. "Our global strategy to combat HIV/AIDS represents an important next step in supporting the communities where we live and work by doing our part and focusing our local efforts into a global response."

In the past 10 years, Scotiabank and its employees globally have committed more than $95 million to health care initiatives, including support of HIV/AIDS awareness, research and education.

In Canada, the Scotiabank AIDS Walk for Life in cities across Canada has raised approximately $36.5 million since 1996 in support of programs and services for people infected by HIV/AIDS. For the past four years, Scotiabank has been the presenting sponsor of The Friends for Life Bike Rally, a Toronto-to-Montreal cycling event which raises money for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation, Canada's largest direct provider of services and support to men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS. The annual event involving 400 cyclists and crew has raised more than $9 million since its inception in 1999. Scotiabank recently renewed its sponsorship of the event for an additional three years. Within its own workforce the Scotia Pride Employee Resource Group helps foster an inclusive environment, where employees and customers of the LGBT community and their allies feel safe, valued & respected.

"Our work on HIV/AIDS began in 2001 with our employees to ensure we had internal policies that addressed human rights and anti-discrimination of people living with HIV/AIDS," said Kaz Flinn, Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Scotiabank.  "Since then, through the leadership and engagement of our employees, the Bank has worked on many unique initiatives to help combat HIV/AIDS, to promote awareness and open discussions. Our global strategy communicates the full extent of the support we have delivered and will continue to deliver in the fight against HIV/AIDS."

About Scotiabank
Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

About Scotiabank's Global Bright Future Program
The Scotiabank Bright Future program is a global philanthropic program uniting the Bank's social, charitable, community and employee volunteer programs. In Canada, Scotiabank's corporate donations and employee fundraising and volunteering initiatives are aimed at being relevant to the community at a grassroots level and focus on six areas: health, education, social services, arts & culture, sports and the environment.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information:

Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Media Communications, deborah_clark@scotiacapital.com , 416-933-0646


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