Money set aside to help Singapore's needy with rising food costs

Other News Materials 7 April 2008 05:46 (UTC +04:00)

At least 1 million Singapore dollars (729,999 US dollars) is being set side to help the needy cope with rising food costs in the city-state, organizers said Monday. ( dpa )

The money is from a fund in the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports.

"There is enough budget, and we are able to supplement the effort," The Straits Times quoted Minister Yu-Foo Yee Shoon as saying.

The move follows an announcement last week by Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry S Iswaran, who said that ways were being explored to help those worst-hit by the rising prices of household essentials such as coffee, tea, canned drinks, condensed milk and sugar.

While Singaporeans can still afford rice, the general price increases add up and could cause financial hardship, Yu-Foo said.

The ministry's fund, called ComCare, received 8,600 calls from January to March, with 22 per cent asking for financial aid, 14 per cent for social assistance and 9 per cent for employment.

A multi-pronged approach will be taken.

"Don't worry," Yu-Foo was reported as saying. "We have enough resources, especially for children. Children should not drop out of school because of financial problems."