The Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC) raised $17.8 million for its Endowment Fund, it was announced at a charity dinner last night.
In addition to this, the Government will give $10 million over the next five years for CDAC programmes and initiatives, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said.
With this, the number of beneficiaries is expected to go up by 25 per cent.
The fund-raising dinner, only the second such event the CDAC has held since it was set up in 1992, comes against a backdrop of rising costs for running its programmes, The Straits Times reported on its website.
Mr Lee said self-help groups like the CDAC play a key role at a time of changing needs. The population is aging and requires stronger social support, and low-income families face challenges from the impact of globalisation and technological advances.
Speaking in Mandarin at the dinner at the Shangri-La Hotel, he said: "Self-help groups keep the pioneering spirit of mutual help alive, enable every beneficiary to strive for a better future, and foster a society where everyone, including those who have benefited, contributes."
He added: "From CDAC and the lives they have touched, we can see that the spirit of mutual help, self-help and giving back is alive and well. This is what we stand for in Singapore."
Mr Lee thanked those who made monthly contributions to the CDAC and said this was an important gesture "which shows that we all bear a shared responsibility to each other". And regardless of the amount, each contribution was important and valued.
The CDAC supported 17,000 low-income households last year. Through its "holistic family-centric approach", the council helped to nurture student potential, while also helping their parents become more employable through skills upgrading.
Mr Chua Thian Poh, chairman of the CDAC Board of Trustees, said that with the fresh funds, the number of households that can benefit from CDAC programmes is expected to go up to about 21,000.
This article was first published on October 25, 2014. Get The New Paper for more stories.