Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah

KUCHING: The supply of essential food items to those in need will be executed by the Food Supply Chain Sub-Committee soon, assured its deputy chairman Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah.

She said all state constituencies have been allocated RM200,000 each from the allocation of RM16.4 million announced by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg on March 29.

“These allocations are beginning to be channelled by the state government to state assemblypersons’ service centres starting from April 1 and it is estimated that this distribution process will be completed by the next day (April 2),” she said in a statement yesterday.

“All state assemblypersons’ service centres have been asked to make food reservations immediately. To date, 44 service centres have made their reservations while 38 are in the process of doing so,” she said.

She said the target groups receiving these essential food items were heads of households in rural areas, the urban poor, and those whose income had been cut off due to the MCO.

She revealed that, as of yesterday (April 1), all Division/District Disaster Management Committees had identified target groups, distribution centres, and delivery modus operandi for the supply of food aid, taking into account compliance with the MCO.

“The list of food aid recipients will be determined by Division/District Disaster Management Committees which consist of Residents, District Officers, government agencies, state assemblypersons’ service centres, and relevant non-governmental organisations (NGOs),” said Fatimah, who is also Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development Minister.

According to her, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (KPDNHEP) Sarawak has been asked to ensure that food supply was sufficient at all 800 points of sales state-wide.

“All these points of sales have been allowed to operate every day from 7am until 4pm,” she added.

She also said the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM) had agreed to help deliver food by helicopter to rural areas which were not accessible by land or were difficult to access such as Bario, Telang Usan, Baram, Lawas, Sri Aman and Kapit.

“The schedule of delivery and pick-up point for loading and drop-off to unload the essential food items are currently being managed and it is estimated that this service will commence on April 3 or 4,” she said.

The Food Supply Chain Sub-Committee, which is chaired by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, is responsible for ensuring that essential food items such as rice, sugar, cooking oil, and flour are always sufficient during the MCO.

On behalf of the state government, Fatimah urged the public to be calm, patient, and confident in the high level of commitment of the government in handling the challenges of Covid-19 for the wellbeing of the people.