Coronavirus outbreak

Donations pour in for healthcare staff, and the vulnerable

Great Eastern is contributing $200,000 to The Courage Fund.
Great Eastern is contributing $200,000 to The Courage Fund.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

More organisations are contributing to a fund that supports vulnerable individuals and groups such as patients, healthcare workers and members of the community affected by serious infectious diseases, with more than $1 million donated so far.

Insurer Great Eastern and Keppel Corp's philanthropic arm Keppel Care Foundation have made six-figure donations to The Courage Fund, which was set up in 2003 for healthcare workers and victims who battled the severe acute respiratory syndrome (Sars).

Great Eastern is contributing $200,000 to the fund, while Keppel Care Foundation is donating $300,000 to support communities here affected by the coronavirus outbreak, the organisations announced separately yesterday.

The Courage Fund, facilitated by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS) and its fund-raising arm, the Community Chest, received more than $1 million in donations as of yesterday, with $250,000 from the President's Challenge and $300,000 from CapitaLand's CapitaLand Hope Foundation earlier this month.

Separately, the Singapore Red Cross has received more than $374,000 in public online donations to date, excluding government seed funding and corporate donations, to aid the communities in China affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

It launched a fund-raising appeal for this on Feb 4, with the Government saying then that it was contributing $1 million in seed money.

Non-profit organisation Business China also said at the time that it had raised $387,500 from its individual and corporate members for the Singapore Red Cross.

Keppel Care Foundation chief executive Ho Tong Yen said yesterday that Keppel Volunteers, the group's volunteerism movement, will also coordinate with the NCSS and the Community Chest to explore how its staff volunteers can provide further support to communities in Singapore affected by the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Together with its donation to The Courage Fund, Keppel has committed more than $900,000 to relief efforts related to the coronavirus outbreak, including contributions to the Singapore Red Cross and from Keppel Land China to the Shanghai Charity Foundation in China.

Great Eastern has also set aside a $1 million support package for its customers in Singapore which was effective from yesterday until the end of the year and supplements existing coverage for policyholders.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 16, 2020, with the headline 'Donations pour in for healthcare staff, and the vulnerable'. Subscribe