DBS, Singtel offering $4.5m in aid to those hit by pandemic fallout

DBS Bank and Singtel are helping front-line workers, non-profit organisations and marginalised communities hit by the fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

DBS is contributing $2.5 million to help feed vulnerable groups in Singapore, while Singtel is dishing out around $2 million to assist front-line medics, among other groups.

Singtel's sum was raised through donations from its management committee, directors and employees which the telco then matched dollar for dollar.

It will distribute the money through its philanthropy programme to 18 charities and social enterprises, with $500,000 going to The Courage Fund. The fund, set up in 2003 for healthcare staff and victims who battled the severe acute respiratory syndrome, now aims to help front-line workers combating the Covid-19 crisis.

DBS is looking to ensure vulnerable groups have enough to eat.

A bank spokesman noted that demand for food has increased as more people are placed on no-pay leave or made redundant.

"The Food Bank Singapore, which distributes dry food rations or fresh produce to some 360 beneficiary organisations islandwide, has seen monetary and food donations fall sharply."

DBS will start by providing 200,000 meals to the elderly and low-income through The Food Bank, with products bought from clients including Koufu Group, Chang Cheng Group and Wee Nam Kee. A further 100,000 meals will be provided to migrant workers supported by non-profit initiative ItsRainingRaincoats.

DBS is also calling on the public to donate meals for the vulnerable at www.giving.sg/campaigns/dbs feedthecity and www.giving.sg/campaigns/dbsprojectbelanja. The bank will match the funds raised by the public dollar for dollar, up to $500,000.

The initiative is part of DBS' wider $10.5 million donation to help communities in countries across the region such as China, Indonesia and India.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 17, 2020, with the headline DBS, Singtel offering $4.5m in aid to those hit by pandemic fallout. Subscribe