Singapore approves 8.2 billion USD for COVID-19 response hinh anh 1Illustrative photo. (Source: AFP/VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – Singaporean President Halimah Yacob has formally approved the draw of up to 11 billion SGD (8.2 billion USD) from past reserves to fund measures needed to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is the first time Singapore has had to draw on past reserves in two consecutive financial years.

The sum will go towards funding the COVID-19 Resilience Package, which covers public health and safe reopening measures, including vaccinations, continued support for firms and workers, and targeted support for worst-hit sectors such as aviation.

Together with the amount approved last year, the total draw on the reserves will come to 53.7 billion SGD.

The Singaporean Government's spending plans were approved in the Parliament on March 8, after MPs spent nine days scrutinising the Government's and individual ministries' budgets. This comprised 107 billion SGD (79 billion USD) of spending in total for the 2021 financial year.

Managing a pandemic of such a scale necessitates more resources to mitigate a plunge in the Singaporean economy, said Yacob, this would allow Singapore to support workers and businesses as it works towards reopening safely amid the pandemic.

Her assent paves the way for the Supply Bill to become law, and it will control how much the Government of Singapore is allowed to spend, and on what, in the financial year./.