Coronavirus: SIA, Temasek Foundation to help transport supplies globally to pandemic front lines

SIA and Temasek Foundation are taking part in this effort under a new partnership with the World Food Programme.
SIA and Temasek Foundation are taking part in this effort under a new partnership with the World Food Programme.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

SINGAPORE - Singapore Airlines (SIA) and the Temasek Foundation will help transport essential medical supplies and other humanitarian items by air to points of need around the world, in a new partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP).

Rome-based WFP is the United Nations' food-assistance branch, and provides the logistics backbone for global Covid-19 efforts. Operating a network of hubs as well as passenger and cargo air links, WFP ensures the steady flow of supplies and support to pandemic front lines as part of a Covid-19 response known as WFP Common Services. Since May, the agency has managed more than 800 humanitarian flights to 159 countries.

In a statement on Tuesday (Aug 11), Mr Amer Daoudi, WFP's Covid-19 corporate response director, said: "While demand for WFP Common Services grows every week, resources are stretched incredibly thin and additional support is urgently needed. We are very grateful to Singapore Airlines and Temasek Foundation for stepping up so we can continue delivering life-saving supplies to those who need them most."

SIA is making the ad-hoc charter flights and freight space in its scheduled services available on a cost-recovery basis, with flight costs being covered by a contribution of up to US$6.5 million (S$8.9 million) from the Temasek Foundation, Singapore investment company Temasek's social and charity arm.

Mr Chin Yau Seng, SIA's senior vice-president of cargo, said: "This will allow us to draw on our expertise as a global airfreight provider and use our international network to deliver essential supplies to the points of need and help to make a positive impact on the communities that have been directly affected by Covid- 19."

Mr Ng Boon Heong, chief executive officer of Temasek Foundation, said: "This partnership is one way for us to ensure that essential supplies reach communities with the most need, even if they are separated by distance."