SINGAPORE - More than 7,760 families here will receive a total of $2.4 million in financial assistance through the annual Ramadan disbursement on Friday (May 7).
The payments will be between $150 and $1,000 depending on the size of the family, said the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis) on Thursday.
This is a 19 per cent increase in the total value of the disbursement, up from $2.01 million in 2020.
Muis said that this is due to more people needing financial assistance amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The disbursements have been made possible through community support in the form of the annual zakat collection by Muis, it said.
Muis added that more than 75 per cent of those who are religiously obliged to pay zakat have already done so.
"Zakat is a key institution that strengthens the community by channelling much-needed financial assistance and support to specified asnaf (groups) including the poor and needy in our community," said Muis.
Of the 7,760 households, 200 had not previously received assistance from Muis and were nominated by Family Service Centres.
The Ramadan disbursement comprises both cash assistance and Raya hampers.
The four groups that will benefit from the Ramadan disbursement are: the monthly recipients of the zakat financial assistance, selected families referred by Family Service Centres, recipients of the ComCare Long-Term Assistance Scheme, and residents of selected welfare homes.
The latter two groups will receive both cash and the hampers, while the first two groups will receive only cash assistance.
Muis also said that it would be adapting its yearly break fast event for guests from welfare homes in light of current safe distancing measures.
Usually, up to 200 guests from 30 homes would be hosted by Muis at the Singapore Islamic Hub for buka puasa - the breaking of fast.
This year, food will be delivered directly to Muslim residents in welfare homes, similar to last year's event.
Muis also said that due to the current surge in Covid-19 infections here, the Muslim community should continue to do their zakat payments digitally, even though some counters at mosques are now open.
Adherents are able to use services such as PayNow, AXS and ATM machines as well as the new zakat website.