Food aid for 73,000 households in Sibu

Awang Tengah (second right) speaking at the press conference. Seen from left are Naroden, Fatimah and Mohamad. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Sarawak government has decided to provide food aid to 73,000 households throughout Sibu Division effective Wednesday, said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

The distribution will be done in stages and in compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) of the movement control order (MCO).

Awang Tengah, who is the state Food Supply Chain Sub-Committee chairman, said the decision was made in view of the implementation of the MCO in Sibu from Jan 18 to 29, covering three districts, namely, Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit.

“The Sibu divisional Disaster Management Committee (DDMC) will work together with other relevant departments, community leaders, village development and security committees (JKKKs), and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to identify the heads of household within the three districts.

“The fund for the food aid will be channelled to Sibu DDMC and supported by the district disaster management committees of Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit.

“They are to work together in collaboration with other relevant agencies such as the state Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), Civil Defence Force (APM), Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), state Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP), local councils, community leaders, JKKKs and other relevant departments and NGOs,” he said.

Awang Tengah revealed this at a press conference after chairing a meeting of Food Chain Supply Committee held at Wisma Sumber Alam in Jalan Sultan Tengah here on Monday (Jan 18).

He added that the committee had not yet finalised the amount of the fund as it was awaiting input from Sibu DDMC on the matter.

“What’s important is to ensure that the food aid can be delivered to those affected by the MCO apart from ensuring that no households will be missing from the recipients’ list,” he pointed out.

Each household will receive food aid worth RM70 comprising 10 kgs of rice, two kgs of sugar, one kg of flour, two tins of canned sardines, a packet of tea or coffee, two kgs of cooking oil, a packet of dry biscuits and a packet of instant noodles.

Elaborating on the logistics for the distribution, Awang Tengah said he had already informed the Sibu DDMC to identify the areas that might require specific transportation such as helicopter or river transport.

Also present at the press conference were Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah; International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development Assistant Minister Datuk Naroden Majais; Deputy State Secretary Datuk Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki; Daro assemblyman Shafiee Ahmad; KPDNHEP Sarawak director Datuk Stanley Tan; and Lt Col Hishamudin A Rahim from the Armed Forces.