Singapore Budget 2020: Govt to set aside $250m to boost partnership efforts with citizens on community projects

The $250 million includes $20 million that will be used to top up Our Singapore Fund, which supports projects in the social and community domains initiated by citizens. ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - The Government will set aside $250 million to boost efforts to partner with the community in projects, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said on Tuesday (Feb 18).

This includes $20 million that will be used to top up the Our Singapore Fund, which supports projects in the social and community domains initiated by citizens. The fund will also be extended for five more years, from this year.

Since the fund was announced in Budget 2016, it has committed nearly $4.3 million to more than 240 ground-up projects in areas ranging from heritage to sports.

Such initiatives range from Progress Nest, which runs after-school team activities for secondary school students from low-income families; to Stories From The Heart, which runs experiential workshops that help people better empathise with the visually impaired.

A budget of $150 million - part of the $250 million - will also be set aside to expand successful ground-up projects, such as those already supported by the Our Singapore Fund.

Money will also go towards the SG Eco Fund, which is for sustainability efforts and will be launched by the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources.

Mr Heng said: "Channelling the energies of our people to key causes requires us to identify the challenges of our time.

"These challenges are multi-faceted and multi-dimensional, but they are ultimately about how Singapore remains exceptional in an increasingly complex world.

"The solutions will come in all shapes and forms, from all levels of society - from government policies to individual efforts on the ground. We must overcome these challenges and find solutions together."

Additionally, the Ministry of Social and Family Development and National Council of Social Service will set up the Community Capability Trust to raise funds and help social-service sector partners better serve the community.

The Government, together with the Tote Board, will provide the trust with a combined $200 million in financial year 2020, and match up to $150 million in funds raised over the next decade.

More details will be announced next week during the debate on the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth's spending plans.

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