KUCHING (Mar 3): Some 70,180 food baskets have been distributed to people in Covid-19 Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO) areas last year until Feb this year, Dato Sri Fatimah Abdullah said.
The Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister said for last year, only Kampung Haji Baki here was affected, and 4,196 food baskets worth RM209,800 were distributed.
The EMCO there was implemented from Oct 28 to Nov 10 after five positive Covid-19 cases were detected on Oct 27 following contact tracing. It was extended for another week but was lifted on Nov 13.
Fatimah said this year, five areas under EMCO received a total of 65,984 food baskets valued at RM5,638,339.
The areas were Phase 2 of the Sentosa Resettlement Scheme in Sibu, Town Villa Housing Area and Flats in Sibu, Kampung Sungai Maong Kuching, Taman Univista Samarahan and Kampung Emperoh Jambu in Padawan.
Aside from that, she told a press conference via Zoom that her ministry also provided food aid of RM837,840.70 to 5,895 families or 16,490 people affected by floods last year.
As of Feb 25 for this year, she said total food aid of RM2,568,731.10 were given to 8,493 families or 39,576 people who did not evacuate while 1,880 families or 6,594 people who were evacuated during the flood.
Meanwhile, Fatimah’s ministry also has many other state government initiatives to benefit the community from the cradle to the grave.
The initiatives were Endowment Fund Scheme (EFS) which is RM1,000 for every Sarawakian child born from Jan 1, 2019; one-off financial aid, Bantuan Ibu Bersalin (BIB), for mothers of RM450 starting Jan 1, 2020 and Special Annual Grant (GTK) of RM5,000 for registered early childhood education institutes.
She said the ministry also introduced the Kenyalang Gold Card for senior citizens, which offers discounts or rebates for goods and services, and the Death Compassionate Assistance (BIK) of RM3,000 which is given to the cardholders’ next of kin to help reduce the family’s burden for burial.
There’s also ‘Bantuan Khas Pesakit Buah Pinggang’ (BKPBP), an aid for kidney failure patients from the B40 and M40 group for treatment and support, said Fatimah.
“For 2020, 85 per cent of births, 26,478 out of 31,176 babies were given EFS and for this year up to February, 84 per cent or 3,170 babies out of 3,846 received the EFS,” said Fatimah.
“For the BIB, 81 per cent or 23,564 mothers received the aid for 2020 while this year, 92 per cent or 3,538 have received the aid.”
For the GTK, 2,868 institutes or 91 per cent received the grant for 2019, while in 2020, 2,958 or 97 per cent received the grant. Application for the grant this year will be open in April, she said.
“For the KGC, 197,797 applications were received for 2020 and up to February this year, 544 applications were received. For the BIK, 2,420 applications with payout of RM7,260,000 were approved for 2020 up to Feb this year,” she said.
For kidney patients, 66 were approved for 2020; while this year, 13 were approved for the BKPBP aid, she added.
At the same time, Fatimah also introduced the new Women and Family Department Sarawak director, Norita Bawi, who took up the post effective today.
Norita replaced Noriah Ahmad who reported for duties as the new Sarawak Social Welfare Department director effective Mar 1.
Norita Bawi was previously the former Sarawak Islamic Religious Department (Jais) deputy director.
Noriah (left) handing over of duties to Norita, witnessed by Fatimah (second right) and Dr Rashidah.