Singapore Airlines (SIA) and Singapore’s Temasek Foundation team up with the World Food Programme (WFP) to support the global Covid-19 response. This includes helping transport essential medical supplies and other health and humanitarian items by air to points of need around the world.
Under this agreement, SIA is making ad-hoc charter flights and freight space in its scheduled services available on a cost-recovery basis, with flight costs being covered by a contribution of up to USD 6.5 million from the Temasek Foundation.
Providing the logistics backbone for global Covid-19 efforts, the WFP operates a network of hubs and passenger and cargo air links to ensure a steady flow of supplies and support to the frontlines of the pandemic. Since these services commenced in May, WFP has managed more than 800 humanitarian flights to 159 countries.
As the WFP continues its mission, the organisation has enough cargo to fill 188 B747s requiring transport in the coming weeks.
“While demand for WFP Common Services grows every week, resources are stretched incredibly thin and additional support is urgently needed,” says Amer Daoudi, WFP’s Covid-19 corporate response director. “We are very grateful to Singapore Airlines and Temasek Foundation for stepping up so we can continue delivering life-saving supplies to those who need them most.”
“It is a pleasure for SIA to partner with WFP and Temasek Foundation in this meaningful programme says Chin Yau Seng, senior vice president Cargo, Singapore Airlines. “This will allow us to draw on our expertise as a global airfreight provider and use our international network to deliver essential supplies to the points of need and help to make a positive impact on the communities that have been directly affected by Covid-19.”
Ng Boon Heong, CEO of Temasek Foundation (the philanthropic arm of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, Temasek Holdings), adds: “We are pleased to partner with the WFP and SIA to help make these flights possible. Together, we will be more capable in combating the Covid-19 global pandemic when we enable synergistic collaborations in the international community.
“This partnership is one way for us to ensure that essential supplies reach communities with the most need, even if they are separated by distance. We are pleased to enable two of the best in their respective fields to make this partnership possible.”
An estimated USD 965 million is required to sustain the WFP’s Common Services on behalf of the humanitarian and health community. To date only 21 per cent of this sum has been received. WFP’s passenger and cargo flights are likely to grind to a
halt at the end of August if no additional support is received, the organisations say.
During this challenging period, the SIA Group has stepped up to support the global fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. Aside from repatriation flights operated by the SIA Group, SIA Cargo has also been transporting medical relief supplies and personal protective equipment to places where they are needed and playing its part in keeping supply lines for essential goods open at a critical time. The Group has also donated items such as blankets and helped to supply meals to communities that have been affected by the pandemic in Singapore.