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More than $300k raised in two days by Singapore communities for relief efforts in Gaza

Straits Times | 10 March 2024

SINGAPORE – Communities in Singapore are redoubling humanitarian efforts for Gaza, such as by raising more than $300,000 in a fresh donation drive started by non-profit Humanity Matters on March 8.

The money raised will go towards delivering medical supplies, food, and care packages for civilians in Gaza, said veteran diplomat and Humanity Matters chairman Ong Keng Yong at an event on March 10.

At the event at The Arts House, representatives from the Chinese, Indian and Malay chambers of commerce, and several philanthropists and corporate leaders presented their donations to Humanity Matters in the presence of President Tharman Shanmugaratnam and his spouse, Ms Jane Ittogi.

Mr Ong, Singapore’s Ambassador-at-Large, said the donations exemplified the spirit of compassion and solidarity of Singaporeans for civilians in Gaza affected by the ongoing conflict there.

“This spirit of solidarity and real compassion is what motivates Humanity Matters to do more for the less fortunate, as we celebrate the graciousness of Singaporeans, and the goodness that we Singaporeans are blessed with,” he said.

The money raised so far will help to immediately fund the next batch of relief supplies that Humanity Matters is sending to Gaza, and kick-start further fund-raising, he added.

The interfaith charity will dispatch in the coming week four tonnes of relief cargo, comprising 5,000 Kidz Comfort Packs, which were packed on March 9 by more than 300 young people and volunteers.

Each pack contains a backpack, inflatable pillow, vitamin gummies, water bottles, a stress ball, a stuffed toy and snacks.

To support its delivery, a four-man relief team will follow the cargo to Amman, Jordan, said Mr Ong. There, the team will also procure medical, food and hydration supplies to help meet the relevant needs in Gaza, he added.

The latest package comes after Humanity Matters delivered more than $215,000 worth of medical supplies and other relief items in November 2023 to relief organisations in Cairo that were helping civilians in Gaza.

The relief supplies, which weighed 9.5 tonnes, were packed by more than 100 volunteers in Singapore in October.

Singapore Red Cross had earlier sent medical supplies, food and water worth at least $250,000 to civilians in Gaza. 

After Hamas’ Oct 7 attack on Israel, the country retaliated with an air and ground campaign in Gaza that has killed more than 31,000 people, most of them women and children, according to the Hamas-run Health Ministry.

More than 85 per cent of 2.3 million Gazans have been displaced from their homes, according to United Nations officials.

Humanity Matters’ fund-raiser will run until April 30.


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