SINGAPORE: About S$11.5 million has been raised for vulnerable individuals and families affected by the COVID-19 outbreak as of end April, said the National Council of Social Service (NCSS).
This is part of The Courage Fund COVID-19 Relief Scheme, which provides financial support to healthcare workers, frontline workers and community volunteers who contracted the coronavirus in the line of duty.
The fund also helps families of those who died due to COVID-19.
“We have completed disbursement of the relief to five families whose loved ones had unfortunately succumbed to the virus, and have reached out to the other families to facilitate disbursement,” said an NCSS spokesperson.
In addition, 180 lower-income households have received money from The Courage Fund, which also supports these households directly affected by COVID-19. This could include instances where a member of the household contracted the coronavirus, or was put on stay-home notice, leading to a loss in income.
The Courage Fund was first set up in 2003 to support those affected by the SARS outbreak. From the S$32 million raised at the time, there was about S$10 million left after funds were disbursed for that outbreak, said the NCSS.
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The first recipient of The Courage Fund this time was a Certis officer, known as case 44, who contracted the COVID-19 in the line of duty. He was serving quarantine orders before he tested positive for the virus.
The Certis officer received S$3,000 from the fund, and NCSS said there are no conditions attached to the use of the money.
Other than The Courage Fund, NCSS also urged members of the public to contribute to The Invictus Fund, which aims to help social service agencies to cope with the COVID-19 situation, such as maintaining their operations and making technology investments to better serve their users.
“The fund has been welcomed by many social service agencies as they are finding it difficult to raise funds as usual given the COVID-19 situation,” said the spokesperson.
More information on The Invictus Fund can be found at www.comchest.sg/TheInvictusFund.