HONG KONG, April 7, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to safeguard the health and well-being of the local community in Hong Kong in the fight against COVID-19, Adrian Cheng, Executive Vice-chairman of New World Development (NWD or "the Group"), will install 35 "Mask To Go" dispensers at designated non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in all 18 districts across Hong Kong. These masks are exclusively designed and made in Hong Kong, and feature in a variety of distinct colours. The dispensers will begin to operate by the end of April, coinciding with NWD's two local mask production lines which start to produce medical face masks from mid-April. Two additional mask production lines will commence in May 2020. The Group expects to produce more than 7 million medical face masks per month when all production lines run at full steam.
Mr. Adrian Cheng said, "As the number of COVID-19 cases continues to spike globally, Hong Kong is now experiencing a second wave of imported and locally transmitted cases. In addition to a series of initiatives announced earlier this year, our team wanted to do more to protect the local community, especially the elderly and those most vulnerable in society, against further community outbreaks. Medical face masks are an essential protective tool in our fight against COVID-19."
"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. By providing a consistent supply of medical face masks and distributing them through these dispensers, we ensure a hygienic and safe way of getting the masks into the hands of those who need them most. I hope this initiative will reduce some of the concerns and fears around mask shortages and play a role in helping our communities stay safe, healthy and resilient in our collective efforts to tackle COVID-19. 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."
Partnering with NGOs for free mask distribution
NWD will partner with eight NGOs in the first phase of the "Mask To Go" distribution programme, which is expected to benefit more than 40,000 people in low-income communities throughout Hong Kong, serving in particular the elderly, disabled, children and those most vulnerable in society. Eight NGOs participating in this initiative include: Evangelical Lutheran Church Social Service, Lutheran Church, 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 eight NGOs will provide medical face mask redemption cards or a downloadable mobile app to pre-registered low-income families and communities in need. Those individuals can then exchange a pack of five "Made in HK" masks for free from the dispensers every week for 10 consecutive weeks during the opening hours of the centres. In addition, NWD will continue to donate medical face masks to low-income families and other organisations in need through non-profit organisations and non-governmental organisations.
Pre-registered "smart redemption cards" or mobile app will be used to eliminate queuing
Free medical face masks to the underprivileged will be distributed through the use of contactless "smart redemption cards" or mobile app. Each platform will have a unique QR code for identification purposes and will not store any personal data. The Group will decide whether to extend the programme subject to the development of the pandemic and will review the efforts made in the first phase before inviting more non-governmental organisations to participate in the initiative.
In February 2020, the Group's charitable foundation donated HK$10 million to establish a "community anti-epidemic fund" in Hong Kong. To date, 2 million masks and over 10,000 preventative kits containing medical face masks, hand sanitiser gels and sanitising wipes were distributed to low-income families through non-governmental organisations throughout Hong Kong. The Group also created an RMB 50 million fund and donated more than 3 million medical face masks in Greater China.
Most recently, NWD announced its global charitable initiative #LoveWithoutBorders to source, deliver and donate 2.5 million medical face masks to partners and local communities in South Korea, France, Italy and the United Kingdom, all countries that have been hit hard by COVID-19. These masks will be donated to local embassies and consulates of the respective governments or through local NGOs to distribute to local citizens.
The masks distributed through the dispensers will all be produced by NWD's own production lines. The Group will begin production of high-quality medical face masks locally starting from mid-April using four production lines. Most of the masks produced by the Group will be used for donation purposes while the rest will be used internally by the company.
All of these initiatives are driven by Adrian Cheng's vision to "creating shared value" with all his partners and stakeholders, and his ongoing efforts to support the impacted communities of COVID-19, both locally and globally.
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New World Development
Founded in 1970, New World Development Company Limited ("The Group", Hong Kong stock code: 00017) was publicly listed in Hong Kong in 1972 and is a constituent stock of the Hong Kong Hang Seng Index. A premium brand infused with a unique personality best defined by The Artisanal Movement, New World Group's core business areas include property development, property investment, roads, aviation and construction. Its operations in Greater China, especially the Greater Bay Area, had a total asset value of approximately HK$503.3 billion as at 30 June 2019. The Group's two listed companies are NWS Holdings Limited (61%), and New World Department Store China Limited (75%). New World China Land Limited is wholly owned by the Group.
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SOURCE New World Development Company Limited