Given that the situation of COVID-19 infection remains uncertain, masks continue to be a daily necessity in battling the pandemic. New World Development (NWD) has recently announced a partnership with 8 non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to install “Mask To Go” dispensers at 19 designated NGO centres, distributing free “Made in Hong Kong” masks produced by the Group. The pilot scheme has received an overwhelming response, with over 10,000 enquiries since the announcement. The first phase of contactless smart redemption cards will be distributed through the eight NGOs to their 12,000 existing beneficiaries. Starting on 25 May, cardholders will be entitled to collect a pack of five NWD-produced masks from the dispensers every week for ten consecutive weeks.
With Over 10,000 Enquiries Received, First Phase Quotas Are Full
With easy and convenient mask collection in mind, New World Development has partnered with NGOs to launch the Pilot Programme for “Mask To Go” Dispensers in order to ease anxieties over a shortage of masks among low-income families and disadvantaged groups. The initial batch of over 10,000 smart redemption cards will be sent to 19 designated NGO centres for distribution to their existing beneficiaries. These include Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA) recipients, single elderly persons, single parents and other disadvantaged groups served by the 8 NGOs. All first phase quotas are now full. “Mask To Go” dispensers will be delivered to designated NGO centres in batches from mid-May and the dispensing of masks will begin progressively from 25 May.
The fact that the pilot programme received such an overwhelming response reflects the anxiety that many low-income families feel about the pandemic. NWD has therefore stepped up to roll out a second phase of the programme by adding 18 more “Mask To Go” dispensers to a new batch of 9 designated NGO centres. Registration will be open from 18 – 22 May. Eligible applicants can register through any one of the newly designated NGO centres. Following assessment and approval, successful applicants will receive a smart redemption card which will entitle them to a batch of free NWD-produced masks from a dispenser every week for ten consecutive weeks.
Second Phase Registration Opens for 4 Groups of Applicants
Four groups of individuals are eligible to apply for phase two of the programme. These include existing CSSA recipients, full-rate working family allowance recipients, old-age living allowance recipients and disability allowance recipients. Applicants must be permanent residents of the HKSAR. Eligible individuals can register at the designated NGO centres which have participated in the second phase of the programme. If the number of applications exceeds the quota, the allocation will be determined by a draw. Designated NGO centres will contact successful applicants between 1 and 12 June to arrange an appointment for submission of supporting documents. The second phase is expected to benefit about 20,000 people who will receive free masks from the dispensers, starting in mid-June. To help the public understand the application procedure of the second phase pilot scheme, NWD will set up an enquiry hotline. A dedicated website http://www.lovewithoutborders.hk/ and a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LoveWithoutBordersHK/ will also be set up to provide details of the application procedure and further information about the programme.
In addition, New World Development will continue to distribute millions of masks to communities in need through its existing arrangements with non-profit and social welfare organisations. The first two production lines for medical masks are now in operation. The other two lines will start production shortly. When the production lines are running at full capacity, 7 million masks will be produced every month. During the coronavirus pandemic, most of the medical masks produced by NWD will be donated to the community, while the remainder will serve the operational needs of the Group.
Details of Second Phase Pilot Programme for “Mask To Go” Dispensers
|Registration Date||18-22 May 2020 (Monday to Friday)|
|Registration Time||Please refer to the opening hours of designated NGO centres|
In addition, applicants must meet at least one of the following financial assistance criteria:
|Mask Collection Period||Mid-June to End of August|
9 am – 6 pm, Monday to Friday
Closed on Saturday, Sunday and public holidays