Mercy Relief: Disaster relief supported by long-term sustainable development

As Singapore’s first independent, non-government charity, Mercy Relief is committed to delivering timely and sustainable disaster relief through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

Mercy Relief distributing relief supplies to rural villages in Cuddalore, one of the worst affected districts during the 2015-16 South India monsoon floods. (Source: Mercy Relief)

Since it was established in 2013, Mercy Relief has responded to more than 79 human tragedies in the Asia Pacific and delivered more than $36.1 million in disaster relief across 25 countries. As a humanitarian organisation focused on disaster relief, time is indubitably of the essence, and the charity is thus committed towards providing emergency aid within 72 hours of an appeal in the aftermath of a disaster.

But beyond responding to urgent, emergency needs, Mercy Relief has also developed longer-term sustainable development programmes which are focused in five key areas: water and sanitation, shelter, sustainable livelihoods, healthcare and education. Since 2005, the charity has implemented more than 59 sustainable development initiatives and impacted an aggregate of over 2.1 million lives.

The Cargill’s Mangrove Information Centre in Palauig, Philippines established by Mercy Relief. The centre helps the public learn more about environmental conservation and also provides supplementary income through the sale of mangrove seedlings. (Source: Mercy Relief)

This dual commitment to providing timely and essential aid during times of crises, complemented with longer-term development plans gives us confidence in Mercy Relief’s approach towards humanitarian aid. Furthermore, Mercy Relief is also committed to international and regional standards, such as the SPHERE Standards in Humanitarian Aid, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals and the CORE Humanitarian Standard.

It is precisely the charity’s good work that has led to its recognition by numerous regional and local partners. Aside from receiving The Straits Times Asian of the Year award in 2018, Mercy Relief also represents Singapore on the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management – Civil Society Organisation Partnership, which adheres to the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and seeks to foster regional cooperation on disaster management.

Hand-washing station supported by Mercy-Relief and Act Indonesia, as part of their COVID-19 Relief Aid (Source: Mercy Relief & Act Indonesia)

For donors and stakeholders, Mercy Relief is also continually upgrading and improving its efforts at outreach, seeking to improve the design and frequency of impact reports in order to ensure clarity, timeliness and transparency. It is this accountability towards stakeholders, coupled with its excellent track record and long-term investment into local communities that has convinced our team at Regional Relief that this is a charity worth supporting.

Mercy Relief’s online fundraising campaigns can be found on, but they are also holding an annual Ground Zero Run which will be held virtually this year due to the pandemic. Funds raised through the run will be channelled towards the organisation’s ‘Impact Fund’, which will allow Mercy Relief to deepen and broaden their engagements.