Headquartered in Singapore, Mercy Relief was established in 2003 to respond to human tragedies and disasters in Asia Pacific.
Today, we are Singapore’s leading independent disaster relief agency with dedicated leadership, capacity building expertise and an affiliate network operating across the entire disaster management cycle.
Mercy Relief provides emergency aid within 72 hours of an appeal in the aftermath of a disaster. Our longer-term sustainable development programmes aim to uplift and empower communities in five key areas: water and sanitation, shelter, sustainable livelihoods, healthcare and education.
For the past seventeen years, Mercy Relief has responded to more than 84 human tragedies with more than $44.6 million in relief across 26 countries. We have implemented more than 65 sustainable development initiatives and impacted an aggregate of over 2.5 million lives.
To provide timely and effective aid when disasters strike, and empower communities in Asia
Championing compassion and care
countries Mercy Relief has been active in
time within which emergency aid is delivered, from appeal to assistance
funds disbursed up to 2018
immediate relief operations executed
post-disaster projects implemented
Mercy Relief has provided humanitarian aid in Asia for over a decade. Through the years, we have invested in communities and worked alongside survivors to help them rebuild their lives.
Here are some key events in the history of our organisation since its inception in 2003.
- Mercy Relief is officially launched by then-Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as Singapore’s first independent, non-government charity.
- The first Mercy Relief disaster response team deploys to Bahorok in North Sumatra, Indonesia, which has been hit by devastating flash floods. A four-man team delivers basic necessities to survivors.
- Then-President of Singapore, His Excellency S R Nathan, presents Mercy Relief with the Singapore International Foundation Award in recognition of the goodwill Singapore has demonstrated abroad.
- Mercy Relief’s international programme expands to include sustainable development and risk mitigation projects centering on five key areas: water and sanitation, shelter, healthcare, basic education and sustainable livelihood. Mercy Relief implements its first projects in Indonesia and China, with projects in the Philippines, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia planned over the following five years.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Aceh Floods by deploying a 4-men medical team to provide 40 water filter systems, medical supplies and assistance to the victims.
- In response to the Jakarta Floods, Mercy Relief, with the help of ARUS, sent close to $67,000 worth of aid supplies to the flood victims.
- UN and Canada’s IDRC invite Mercy Relief to share its reflections and analyses of its experiences on the ground in a book titled “Peacetime Strategies for Disaster Risk Mitigation”. Mercy Relief submits five articles.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Sumatra Earthquake, by supporting evacuation services, distributed food supplies and water to victims of the quake, and partnered with SingHealth to deploy a medical relief team to the region.
- Mercy Relief collaborates with Singapore Polytechnic to launch Singapore’s first dedicated course for training humanitarian aid workers. The Diploma-Plus Certificate Programme in Humanitarian Affairs provides an understanding of how the sector works and promotes civic and social responsibility.
- Mercy Relief launches MOVE, an overseas volunteer expeditions programme, which aims to develop volunteers into regional humanitarians.
- In light of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, Mercy Relief raised $2.6 million, deployed a disaster response team. camped out in disaster-stricken regions for 5 months, and implemented the Tohoku Livelihood and Recovery program to train individuals to operate heavy machinery.
- Mercy Relief organised a seminar on “Natural Disasters and Humanity” on 21 May 2011, where more than 200 leaders and representatives from various faith, civic and governmental organisations, and diplomats from several embassies attended the Seminar.
- Mercy Relief dispatched 15 water filtration systems and about 30,000 Meals-Ready-to-Eat to the victims of the floods in the Philippines caused by massive floods across Southeast Asia.
- Mercy Relief hosts the President of Singapore, His Excellency Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam, at a project site in Magelang, Indonesia, which had been badly hit by the 2010 eruption of Mt. Merapi. It is the first time a Singapore Head of State has visited one of Mercy Relief’s overseas projects.
- Mercy Clan was launched on 5 December 2012, in conjunction with International Volunteer Day, to thank volunteers for their efforts and increase public awareness on their contributions to the organization.
- Mercy Relief is officially appointed one of 10 national Civil Society Organisations (CSO) under the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) – Civil Society Organisation Partnership Framework. This Framework defines the ‘rules of engagement’ between the ACDM and CSOs, and enables CSOs like Mercy Relief to play a bigger role in the delivery of programmes that support disaster risk reduction and management in the region.
- A Memorandum of Cooperation was signed between Mercy Relief and AgPlus, to develop PurHeart, an innovative water solution to support communities affected by disasters and poverty.
- Mercy Relief signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD), where it will run a joint undergraduate module on humanitarian affairs and internship placements with Mercy Relief.
- Mercy Relief was acknowledged in the ASEAN Declaration for Youth Entrepreneurship and Employment for its partnership with the government of Brunei Darussalam on the implementation of a regional community service project by ASEAN Young Professionals Volunteer Corps (AYPVC).
- Held in conjunction with UN World Water day, Mercy Relief’s first Water outreach event saw participants participating in a 5-station obstacle course, which aims to raise awareness on the importance of access to clean water in disaster-stricken areas.
- Mercy Relief disburses S$400,000 worth of aid to victims of the Gaza Conflict, by working with the Palestine Red Crescent Society and the Palestinian Wefaq Association
- Mercy Relief collaborates with Nanyang Polytechnic’s School of Interactive & Digital Media to launch Code Blue, a game which which aims to educate youths on disaster relief.
- In response to the Nepal Earthquake, Mercy Relief sends its first medical mission and disaster response team to the country, raised $1.5 million in donations, distributed emergency supplies and completed a transitional shelter project, which benefited more than 2550 people in Nepal.
- The first humanitarian run in Singapore was organised by Mercy Relief on 10 October 2015, where it simulates the experiences of a survivor of a natural disaster for the participants.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Myanmar Floods by deploying its first response team to the country, to distribute food supply to flood-stricken communities in Rakhine.
- Mercy Relief appointed its first female Executive Director, Miss Zhang Tingjun, the co-founder and director of The Chain Reaction Project, and a council member for the Singapore Institute of International Affairs.
- Mercy Relief responded to 6 major regional disasters and funded 12 sustainable development projects across 8 countries.
- This past year we developed a whole new look to represent the modernization and direction of our charity yet retained the core values of compassion and care.
- This included a rebranding and upgrade of our infrastructure from technology to office space.
- We even changed the way we report to stakeholders and donors to ensure timeliness and transparency.
- We forged over 14 new partnerships and set a record high of 220 training hours to up skill our team as we prepare for the latest industry challenges.
- Mercy Relief was recognised by the National Council of Social Services (NCSS) as an associate member in light of its programmes and activities that supported the social sector.
- Mercy Relief launched a multi-country relief effort to reach out to survivors in Nepal, India and Bangladesh in response to the South Asia Floods. On the ground, the team provided urgent supplies such as food, clean water and non-food items to nearly 6,000 beneficiaries to date, across the affected communities.
- The humanitarian crisis in Rakhine State, Myanmar, has seen close to 900,000 people flee across the border into Bangladesh. Mercy Relief reached out to more than 14,700 refugees in its response phase, with emergency supplies including tents, solar lamps and dignity kits for women in the Bulukhali Makeshift Settlement.
- To commemorate Mercy Relief’s 15th year anniversary, MR organised the Ground Zero Carnival, Singapore’s first humanitarian event to showcase its collective impact over the decade.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Lombok Earthquake where four large earthquakes and at least 1,500 aftershocks had struck the island. The disaster claimed the lives of more than 500 people and injured thousands. To date, over 1,000 households have benefited from the provision of emergency supplies and healthcare services.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Kerala Floods where heavy rains have caused some of the region’s worst flooding in nearly a century, causing almost 400 fatalities and displacing thousands. MR focused its efforts on the distribution of food, clean water supply and hygiene kits, benefitting 500 households to date.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Sulawesi Earthquake that has caused a tsunami and major soil liquefaction which contributed to the devastation. During the relief period, MR provided aid through mobile clinics, supplementary feeding services as well as food and non-food items.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Sunda Strait Tsunami on Christmas Eve to distribute hygiene kits, food and non-food items to the affected communities.
- Mercy Relief received The Straits Times Asian of the Year award in recognition of its humanitarian work in the region.
- In response to Typhoon Hagibis, Mercy Relief send its disaster response team to the country and distributed emergency hot meals which benefited more than 4930 people in Japan.
- Mercy Relief responded to the 6.9-magnitude earthquake, Davao del Sur that hit the Philippines. Hundreds are injured and 23 fatalities were reported due to the earthquake, which also displaced over 349,000 people. To date, over 2066 individuals have benefited from the provision of emergency hot meals.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Cotabato Earthquakes where a swarm of earthquakes struck the province of Cotabato on the island of Mindanao. Hot meals were distributed to 1904 individuals affected by the disaster.
- Typhoon Kammuri slammed into the Philippines in Dec 2019, bringing heavy rains and gale-force winds as it tore across the main island of Luzon affected 2,361,000 lives. To date, over 7184 individuals have benefited from the provision of emergency hot meals that were distributed by Mercy Relief.
- Mercy Relief responded to the Typhoon Phanfone where caused severe floods and destroyed homes in several provinces. The typhoon killed 50, stranded thousands and affected 3,271,500 lives. MR focused its efforts on the distribution of hot meals benefitting 2320 individuals to date.
- This past year we have also changed the look, feel & frequency of our impact reports to donors and stakeholders to ensure clarity, timeliness and transparency.
- In July 2019, Mercy Relief appointed Ms Carol Lee as its Executive Director.