New World Development to Distribute 10 Million Free “Made in Hong Kong” Medical Face Masks
- Partnering local NGOs to launch “Mask To Go” Dispensers in 18 districts across Hong Kong from the end of April
- Low-income families collect free masks for 10 consecutive weeks by using contactless “smart redemption cards”
- Adrian Cheng: Doing our part to help ease Hongkongers’ anxiety
As the spread of COVID-19 continues in Hong Kong and around the world, ensuring that the community is well prepared to combat the coronavirus is crucial. Further to the announcement in February to set up production lines locally to produce “Made in Hong Kong” medical face masks, Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice-chairman and General Manager of New World Development (“NWD” or “the Group) today announced that the Group will distribute 10 million “Made in Hong Kong” medical face masks free of charge from the end of April. In addition, the Group has partnered with eight non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to install “Mask To Go” dispensers at designated NGO centres. The eight NGOs will provide contactless “smart redemption cards” to pre-registered low-income families and disadvantaged groups. Those individuals can then exchange a pack of five masks produced by NWD from the dispensers every week. The Group will continue to install a total of 35 “Mask To Go” dispensers at designated NGO centres to distribute medical face masks for 10 consecutive weeks until early July and expects the initiative to benefit more than 40,000 people.
35 “Mask To Go” dispensers to distribute 2 million medical face masks
The 10-week self-service mask collection dispensers intended to facilitate low-income people to get the much needed medical face masks easily and conveniently, without having to wait in queues. It also reduces the efforts and resources of the NGOs in mask distribution. Eight NGOs participating in the first phase of this initiative include: Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service, Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service, Society for Community Organization, St. James' Settlement, The Boys' and Girls' Clubs Association of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Young Women's Christian Association, The Neighbourhood Advice-Action Council, and The Salvation Army. The “Mask To Go” dispensers will be set up in designated centres of these NGOs in 18 districts across Hong Kong by the end of April to distribute medical face masks through self-service arrangement for 10 consecutive weeks. NWD plans to partner with more NGOs in this initiative to install a total of 35“Mask To Go” dispensers and distribute at least 2 million medical face masks to low-income people. In addition, NWD will continue to donate millions of medical face masks to communities in need through its existing arrangements with non-profit organisations and non-governmental organisations. The Group will start to produce high-quality medical face masks from mid-April. The first two production lines will undergo trial production shortly. Two additional mask production lines will commence in May 2020. The Group estimated that more than 7 million masks will be produced every month when all production lines are running in full steam. Most of the masks produced by the Group between April and June will be used for donation purposes while the rest will be used internally by the company.
Adrian Cheng: provide convenient and appropriate support to those in need
“Hong Kong people have been fighting COVID-19 for more than two months, but the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread around the world. As the number of imported cases in Hong Kong continues to rise, preventing communitywide outbreaks is crucial,” said Adrian Cheng. “Medical face masks have become an essential protective tool in our fight against the coronavirus pandemic. This initiative is another step in realising the Group’s goal to Create Shared Value (CSV) and addresses the pressing needs of the communities we serve here in Hong Kong. It is heart-breaking to see so many people suffer because they simply cannot afford or get a hold of masks, which have become so costly and scarce. Some disadvantaged groups have had to use the same mask repeatedly. I hope this initiative will provide convenient and appropriate support to those in need so that they are not living in fear due to mask shortages.”
Pre-registered “smart redemption cards” will be used to eliminate queuing and facilitate easy and convenient mask collection
Since February, 2 million masks and 10,000 preventative kits containing medical face masks, hand sanitiser gels and sanitising wipes were distributed to low-income families and disadvantaged groups through around 50 non-profit organisations and non-governmental organisations throughout Hong Kong. To ensure that communities in need have convenient access to medical face masks as the pandemic continues, the Group provides a consistent supply of medical face masks and distributes them through contactless “smart redemption cards” and dispensers installed at designated NGO centres. The NGOs will follow their service principles to issue a NWD “smart redemption card” to people who receive Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), the elderly living alone, single parents, disadvantaged groups, and low-income workers who need to wear a mask at work but do not have access to masks on the job.
In order to prevent these masks from being resold, the NGOs will enforce true identity registration to verify and register the identity of cardholder beneficiaries. Each “smart redemption card” will have a unique QR code for identification purposes and will not store any personal data. Cardholders can go to the designated NGO centre every week during the opening hours of the centre and simply tap the card on the “Mask To Go” dispenser to collect a pack of masks.
The Group will decide whether to extend the programme further subject to the development of the pandemic and will review the efforts made in the first phase. The list of NGOs installed with the “Mask to Go” dispenser and details of their location and opening hours will be available online. Please refer to the infographic for instructions for collecting medical face masks.
The Group will continue to closely monitor the development of the pandemic and play a role in the collective efforts to tackle COVID-19 together with Hong Kong people. Driven by its vision of “Creating Shared Value,” the Group pledges to overcome challenges together with local communities and bring positive change to the society.