Temasek sets up $40m fund for S'pore crises

Temasek Holdings is starting a $40 million fund to help Singapore prepare for and deal with difficult situations. This will kickstart events to mark its 40th year.

The Temasek Emergency Preparedness fund will give money to programmes that support people in crises, including environmental disasters such as haze, or trauma from accidents.

"At Temasek, we believe that, if you want to do well, you have to be prepared all the time," Temasek Holdings chairman Lim Boon Heng said at a media briefing on March 21.

"So, as we reflect on how we should celebrate our 40th anniversary, we thought that this is an area we should be looking at."

Mr Lim said episodes such as the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the haze that engulfed the country last year have underscored the need for Singapore and Singaporeans to be ready to react to emergencies.

Some uses for the fund could include the buying and distribution of masks in the event of haze, or putting together a pack of supplies to be used in emergencies, Mr Lim suggested.

The specific initiatives to be funded will be announced later.

The fund will be administered by Temasek Cares, one of seven non-profit philanthropic organisations under Temasek's umbrella.

Temasek Trust, which administers the funds to these organisations, has set aside about $1.5 billion in endowment funds for various causes since 2003.

Temasek staff themselves are prepared for emergencies, said Mr Lim. All of its more than 450 staff globally have undergone training for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and how to use the automated external defibrillator. Next up is for all staff to learn first aid.

"We encourage our Temasek portfolio companies to do likewise, and I hope that other companies would do so as well, because these are basic skills which are useful at work or at home," Mr Lim said.

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