It is noteworthy that Parliament has approved a contribution of US$20.57 million (S$27.6 million) to help low-income countries tackle the economic fallout of the pandemic. The money will go to three initiatives under the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of which involves a grant to support the IMF’s US$344 million financing package for Somalia’s debt relief. These statistics underline Singapore’s contribution to the economic well-being of other nations but do not reflect it completely. As for the financial contribution, Singapore’s approach is to provide funding commensurate with its size. However, it has done more than that in other areas. Notably, it also contributes to the global community by sharing technical expertise with countries that could benefit from its record of moving up the development ladder.
Indeed, Singapore has provided technical assistance to other nations since the 1960s, when the country itself embarked on an economic and social development process that has brought it to where it is today. As a beneficiary of training provided by other countries and international organisations over the years, Singapore passed on the global message that human resource development is vital for economic and social progress. A case in point is the Singapore Cooperation Programme (SCP), set up in 1992 to bring various technical assistance programmes offered by the country under one framework.