Food aid worth over RM20.4 mln distributed to EMCO areas

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (second left) accompanied by National Unity and Integration Department Director Dirwana Azool (third left) and National Unity Department Officer Suzana Busalam (left) taking a look at the foodstuffs collected at the RT Cares Community Food Basket Collection and Distribution Centre after the opening ceremony. Photo: Ramidi Subari

KUCHING: The Social Welfare Department has spent more than RM20.4mil in food aid for people impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic as of July this year.

Sarawak Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said as of July 28 this year, food aid had been given to 181,233 heads of household (KIR) from 1,475 localities placed under enhanced movement control order.

She added that last year, food aid valued at RM209,800 was given to 4,196 KIR of Kampung Haji Baki.

“Besides the Welfare Department, the state and federal governments also provided food aid via the Bantuan Khas Sarawakku Sayang (BKSS) package and National People’s Wellbeing and Economic Recovery Package (Pemulih) respectively.

“Moreover, non-governmental organisations, corporate bodies, and kind-hearted donors also came forward to help.

“This is a good example of people caring for one another and those in need,” she said when officiating at the Neighbourhood Watch Community Food Basket Collection and Distribution Centre (RT Care Centre) organised by the National Unity and Integration Department (JPNIN) Kuching branch at the Ong Tiang Swee Tabika Perpaduan Class, Jalan Ong Tiang Swee here on Monday (Aug 9).

Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah (centre) cutting the ribbon to officially launch the ‘Program Perpaduan Bersama: RT Cares — Community Food Basket Collection and Distribution Centre’ witnessed by National Unity and Integration Department Director Dirwana Azool (right), National Unity Department Officer Suzana Busalam (left) and other guests. Photo: Ramidi Subari

“We also hope that those who give and receive the food aid are sincere in giving and receiving the aid so that no issue in terms of the value of the food given would arise.”

Fatimah also stressed that it was important to ensure political stability in the country so that the government could focus on helping and making sure the people are safe.

“That is why, in Sarawak, we must feel grateful because our politics is stable and our state is peaceful.”

Meanwhile, the RT Care programme is an initiative by the Ministry of National Unity to ensure the survival and wellbeing of the community during the Covid-19 pandemic through the respective Neighbourhood Watch Community.

RT Care centres are available throughout the country, which would serve as operation centres for the collection and distribution of food baskets and basic necessities — 50 of them are in Sarawak.

Earlier, Fatimah presented food baskets to 32 KRT under the Kuching South City Council area.

Also present was JPNIN director Dirwana Azool.