SINGAPORE - Palm oil giant Musim Mas is donating $5 million in total to five local organisations, to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Singapore-based firm announced in a statement on Monday (June 22) that under its Musim Mas Project Onward, each beneficiary would receive $1 million.

The donation will benefit the Alzheimer's Disease Association (ADA), Metta Welfare Association, The Majurity Trust, The Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund (STSPMF) and the Singapore General Hospital.

The firm said it is meant to demonstrate solidarity and commitment to vulnerable families and individuals in need during this period.

"The Government's swift and decisive policies meant that most Singaporeans are able to cope with the aftershocks of Covid-19. However, we recognise there are many less-privileged families and individuals who need more help now," said Mr Alvin Lim, chief financial officer and executive director of Musim Mas Holdings.

"We hope this cash donation will inspire and empower these organisations to rise above the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, and to continue serving their communities with fervour," he added.

Last year, Musim Mas donated $1 million to the ADA to fund its therapies and programmes.

Mr Lim said the company was moved by the organisation's continuous efforts to serve the dementia community despite facing multiple challenges caused by the Covid-19 situation.

He added that ADA chief executive officer Jason Foo inspired Musim Mas to recognise that there are many more causes out there that needed assistance.

Mr Foo said: "With (Musim Mas') support, we will be able to bring more quality dementia care programmes, services and support to persons with dementia and caregivers, especially in these challenging times."

He added that the donation would help ease cash-flow issues.

Singapore General Hospital said the money will go towards developing innovative models of care and research, to benefit healthcare workers and patients.

Mr Warren Fernandez, editor-in-chief of Singapore Press Holdings' English, Malay and Tamil Media Group, and chairman of the STSPMF, said that during these trying times, many more families will find themselves in need.

"Which is why we are grateful to generous donors, such as Musim Mas, for stepping up to help charitable efforts. Through these donations, we are able to do more to help ensure that our young do not go to school hungry or in need," said Mr Fernandez, who is also editor of The Straits Times.

Metta Welfare Association's Venerable Chao Khun Fa Zhao said the money will help ensure that Metta School graduates aged 18 and above who have intellectual disability or autism will be able to continue their vocational, work and life skills training.

"With the collective effort and contributions, we will overcome these challenging times and emerge stronger," said Venerable Chao.

Mr Martin Tan, executive director of The Majurity Trust, said that the impact of Covid-19 has worsened the collective mental health and well-being of the community, with many facing increased psychological distress.

"Our children and youth are among the most vulnerable (to mental health issues). In recent years, there has been a worrying increase in the number of youth suicides.

"This Musim Mas donation will provide timely support to complement existing efforts to help our youth struggling with mental health challenge," he said.