Adrian Cheng's New World Development announced today that it's launching a new initiative for the underprivileged by offering a HK$1,000 vaccination grant or fees for health consultations as part of its vision of Creating Shared Value. This new subsidy scheme is as a partnership with three NGOs, Hong Kong Lutheran Social Service, Society for Community Organisation and St. James Settlement and aims to alleviate the burden of the public and offer more incentive to get the vaccine.
"From pioneering smart dispensers for weekly mask distribution to providing vaccination grants, we strongly believe in working together with NGOs. Through these partnerships, we are able to offer support and subsidies precisely to the communities that are most in need. We look forward to continuing our efforts in fighting against the pandemic with the community," said Adrian Cheng, CEO of New World Development.
The subsidy scheme is set to cover about 5,000 beneficiaries, each of which can receive the HK$1,000 allowance in the first phase of the initiative. The participating beneficiaries will be chosen by the partnering NGOs based on their needs. They need to receive the two-dose vaccination in order to be eligible for the subsidy which can be handed out as salary or health consultation allowance starting from the end of June. The first subsidy handout is expected to be completed in batches between June to August this year.
New World Development also has a HK$5 million plan to launch a second phase with more NGOs to take part, offering assistance and support to the wider public. They also highlighted that since the city started its vaccination drive, the number of confirmed cases has decreased but noted that many are still hesitant to take the vaccine. More details of the scheme will be announced by the partnering NGOs.
"Many NGOs have expressed concern over vaccine hesitancy among the disadvantaged groups, with most individuals quoting livelihood, lack of paid vaccination leave and the extra cost of health consultation as the lead reasons for refusing vaccination," the group said. With this vaccination subsidy, it can hopefully encourage more people to get vaccinated.
This new scheme is just one of New World Development's pandemic-related initiatives. At the start of 2020, they set up a production line to create "Made in Hong Kong" medical face mask and invented the "Mask To Go" dispenser where they partnered with about 20 NGOs and installed the dispensers at 37 designated centres across 18 districts. They have also donated HK$20 million masks to the underprivileged.