About $56 million was given to those who needed short to medium term assistance, an increase of 33 per cent from the year before. This amount went to about 26,000 households, an increase of 19 per cent. The increases are due to changes made in the last financial year to widen the coverage of support to more Singaporeans, said the Ministry of Social and Family Development in a statement on Wednesday.
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Here is the media release from the Ministry of Social and Family Development
72,000 benefit from ComCare assistance and moves made to improve delivery in 2013
More than $102mil in ComCare assistance was provided to 72,000 needy Singaporeans and their families in Financial Year 2013 (FY13), according to the latest ComCare Annual Report by the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF). Major efforts were also made to improve the delivery of assistance.
Just over half of the total amount disbursed, or $56mil, was provided to those who required short to medium term assistance. This was an increase of 33 per cent from $42mil in FY12. The number being helped in this group was close to 26,000, an increase of 19 per cent from FY12. The increases are due to changes made in FY13 to widen the coverage of ComCare support to more Singaporeans.
In FY13, MSF also implemented significant changes to streamline and improve the delivery of assistance. Administration of pre-school subsidies for low income families have been transferred to the Early Childhood Development Agency (ECDA). ECDA now serves as the single point of disbursement for both basic and additional pre-school subsidies.
Since July 2013, 14 Social Service Offices (SSOs) have been set up in housing estates to bring services closer to those in need. In addition to providing ComCare financial assistance, SSOs also work in partnership with stakeholders such as the Community Development Councils, Family Service Centres, Grassroots and other community organisations on the planning and coordination of social services in their neighbourhoods. 9 more SSOs will be opened by June 2015.
Commenting on the ComCare report, Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Social and Family Development said: "We continue to enhance our support for vulnerable and needy Singaporeans. The new network of Social Service Offices in the hearts of our HDB estates enables citizens in need to have easier and quicker access to social assistance. We will continue to review the policies under ComCare and improve the delivery of social assistance and services to build a stronger social safety net for Singaporeans."