Wednesday, July 6

‘Food aid sent to 91 pct of registered households’


Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: A total of 324,224 or 91 per cent of the 349,449 households or individuals registered with the 12 Divisional Disaster Management Committees (DDMC) throughout Sarawak have received food assistance from the state government as of Thursday (April 16).

In a statement on Friday, Food Supply Chain Sub-Committee deputy chairman Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said 63 constituencies have completed their distribution, while the remaining 19 constituencies are in progress.

“Distribution of food to the target groups is done through land, river, and air transportation. For rural and remote areas such as Telang Usan, Murum, Mulu, Batang Ai, Meluan, Pakan, Engkilili, and Balai Ringin, which are not reachable by road, the Sarawak government has enlisted helicopter services from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) and Hornbill Skyways.

“A total of 41,859kg of food was distributed by helicopter services benefiting 2,933 households or individuals. It started on April 5 and was completed on April 11. All distribution was carried out in compliance with the Movement Control Order (MCO) ruling,” she said.

The Welfare, Community Well Being, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister said each constituency was given an allocation of RM200,000 channelled to DDMC, irrespective of whether the areas are under Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) or the opposition.

“Thus, there is no politics with this programme. The distribution process is still ongoing,” she stressed.

She explained the distribution of state food aid to the people of Sarawak is managed centrally by the DDMC, comprising the Residents, District Officers, Welfare Department, related government agencies, elected representative service centres, and the relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

“I would like to reiterate here that all funding is channelled to and managed by the DDMC and all payments to the relevant food suppliers for the purchase of food will be made by the DDMC.

“The DDMC as the main coordinator for this programme must ensure that the food distribution is carried out smoothly in all divisions and districts. All name lists from the various sources are submitted to the DDMC for central coordination and verification.

“If there is any deserving individuals that has been missed out unintentionally, please do not hesitate to report to the respective DDMC or our Sarawak Welfare divisional offices (PKMB) for immediate action,” she said.

She added the sub-committee, chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, has always emphasised that those who need to be assisted due to the MCO must be provided with the food aid.

“The objective of this sub-committee is to ensure that whoever is entitled in all 82 constituencies — the households in the rural and remote areas, the urban poor, and those without income due to the MCO — are provided with essential food,” she said.