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Poverty Alleviation Strategies in Singapore


No official poverty line (as in Hong Kong) Dept of Statistics ... NGOs, particularly the voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs), play a very ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Poverty Alleviation Strategies in Singapore

Poverty Alleviation Strategies in Singapore
  • Yap Mui Teng
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Institute of Policy Studies, Singapore

  • No official poverty line (as in Hong Kong)
  • Dept of Statistics
  • Minimum Household Expenditure (MHE)
  • Half of median per capita household income
  • Information on income distribution but for income
    from work only
  • Different income criteria used for determining
    eligibility for assistance and in means tests

  • Estimates vary
  • 2000 on public assistance (late 1990s)
  • 30,000 households (MTI 1996)
  • 120,000 or 4 of resident population (DOS, figure
    for 1998)
  • 100,000 households (welfare agencies 2001)
  • Prevalence of poverty difficult to know

Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • Independence, self reliance
  • Jobs
  • Education, skills development/upgrading, training
    and re-training
  • Job creation, investment promotion (attracting
    foreign investment), entrepreneurship promotion
  • Jobs links, matching
  • Family support
  • Promotion of family values
  • Legislative, administrative measures (e.g. tax
    reliefs for caring for parents and CPF top-ups,
    use of Medisave, Maintenance of Parents Act)

Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • Community
  • Community Development Councils (CDCs)
  • Voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs)
  • Partnership with business, charities
  • Government
  • Policy maker, planner, regulator and provider

Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • Many helping hands approach
  • Co-funding
  • Fund raising from corporate sector, public
  • Emphasis is always on regaining financial
    independence and preventive (so that the next
    generation do not fall into the trap of poverty)

Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • Financial Assistance Schemes
  • Government schemes, administered by CDCs
  • Public Assistance Scheme / Special Grant (for
  • Interim (Short-term) Financial Assistance Scheme
  • Rent and Utilities Assistance Scheme (RUAS)
  • Home Ownership Plus Education Scheme (HOPE)
  • Work Assistance Programme (WAP)
  • Kindergarten Financial Assistance Scheme (KiFAS)
  • Student Care Fee Assistance Scheme (SCFA)
  • Centre-based Financial Assistance Scheme for
    Child Care (CFAC)

Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • Local financial assistance schemes introduced
    by CDCs
  • Disbursed by members of parliament in each ward
    within CDC
  • Short term about 3 months
  • Small quantum about 200 pm
  • In-kind assistance e.g. food vouchers

Poverty Alleviation Strategy
  • Employment, re-employment
  • Skills Development Fund
  • Skills Redevelopment Programme
  • Training allowance
  • Absentee payroll support
  • Self-employment Assistance Scheme

Role of NGOs
  • NGOs, particularly the voluntary welfare
    organisations (VWOs), play a very important role
    in the provision and delivery of social services
    in Singapore
  • Religion-based community welfare service
    organisations e.g. Presbyterian, Methodist,
    Buddhist, Moral Society, etc
  • Clan or ethnic based
  • Clan associations long history in Singapore
  • Ethnic self-help groups e.g. Mendaki, SINDA, CDAC

Role of NGOs
  • Others e.g. Rotary Club, Lions Club, etc
  • Philanthropic organisations and foundations
    funding e.g. Singapore Pools, Lee Foundation,
    Shaw Foundation, etc.
  • Important to note
  • NGOs help all those who seek help from them,
    regardless of race, language, religion or gender

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