DPM Heng Swee Keat praises Mercy Relief’s 20-year commitment to disaster relief and highlights the importance of global solidarity in times of crisis
DEPUTY Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies, Heng Swee Keat, delivered a speech at the Mercy Relief 20th Anniversary Gala Dinner on 28 November 2023. The event, attended by Mr. Satwant Singh, Chairman of Mercy Relief, board members, and distinguished guests, celebrated the organization’s two decades of impactful humanitarian service.
Heng Swee Keat commended Mercy Relief’s vital role in disaster response, emphasizing the unfortunate but unavoidable nature of disasters, whether natural or man-made. Reflecting on the progress made in disaster relief over the years, he highlighted the increased connectivity of the globalized world, enabling swift and efficient mobilization of humanitarian efforts.
Established in the aftermath of the Boxing Day Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004, Mercy Relief faced an early test and responded with 17 medical relief missions, involving 120 volunteers over four months. Since then, the organization has conducted 92 relief operations across 27 countries, demonstrating a commitment to providing assistance wherever it is needed.
Mercy Relief’s Chairman, Mr. Satwant Singh, acknowledged the challenges posed by both natural disasters and geopolitical conflicts. The organization is currently in discussions with the Rahmatan Lil Alamin Foundation and mosques to raise funds for the ongoing conflict in Gaza, showcasing their adaptability to diverse and evolving humanitarian needs.
Highlighting the importance of professionalism and transparency in their operations, Heng Swee Keat praised Mercy Relief for building trust not only with the communities they serve but also with donors who seek assurance that their contributions make a positive impact.
The Deputy Prime Minister also commended Mercy Relief’s efforts in disaster preparedness and post-disaster projects, emphasizing the importance of building resilience and sustainable development within affected communities. He underlined the organization’s role in equipping communities with the tools, knowledge, and resources needed for self-sufficiency and long-term recovery.
In conclusion, Heng Swee Keat acknowledged the growing risks of disasters in our volatile world, citing both geopolitical conflicts and the impact of climate change. He called for global solidarity, urging collective efforts to support those affected by disasters and contribute to rebuilding and empowering communities.
Source – PMO