New foundation to encourage businesses to share resources for humanitarian aid

Singapore's Mercy Relief, an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity, providing aid to those affected in Visayas, Philippines after typhoon Haiyan swept into the country on Nov 8, 2013. Companies can now play a bigger role in humanitar
Singapore's Mercy Relief, an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity, providing aid to those affected in Visayas, Philippines after typhoon Haiyan swept into the country on Nov 8, 2013. Companies can now play a bigger role in humanitarian aid in the region, through a new platform to help communities in sustainable development and disaster response. -- PHOTO: MERCY RELIEF

SINGAPORE - Companies can now play a bigger role in humanitarian aid in the region, through a new platform to help communities in sustainable development and disaster response.

Local firm HSL Constructor started the Corporate Citizen Foundation (CCF) with a seed funding of $1 million.

The foundation, which was launched on Friday, is meant to encourage businesses to share their resources and expertise in swift disaster response, to help communities deal with the effects of climate change and disasters better.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who was at the launch event at HSL Waterfront@Penjuru in Jurong, said that the corporate sector can contribute to disaster response operations, besides being an important source of donations.

"Our companies are also increasingly a source of specialised resources and skills, organizational capacity and rich contacts," he said.

Five companies, including Thomson Medical and Pacific Flight Services, have joined the CCF's first programme - known as Swift Emergency Evaluation Deployment - to provide their resources.

Pacific Flight Services, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Singapore Technologies (ST) Aerospace, will supply Lear jets to fly into disaster-stricken areas.

Thomson Medical and HSL Constructor will provide engineering and medical personnel while Golden Season will supply portable water purification systems and MediaCorp will help in news coverage.