SIBU: The Sarawak government has started distributing food assistance to 73,000 households in the Sibu Division affected by the two-week Movement Control Order (MCO), which came into effect on Jan 16.
Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan said the distribution is being carried out by the Sibu Divisional Disaster Management Committee (SDDMC) assisted by the district disaster management committees of Sibu, Selangau and Kanowit.
Part of the food assistance will also be sent to those affected in the Daro district, which is under the Mukah Division.
“They are working in collaboration with the relevant agencies such as the Army, Fire and Rescue Department, Civil Defence Force, local councils, community leaders and non-governmental organisations (NGOs),” he said after the launch of the food assistance distribution by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg here, today.
The RM70 worth of food assistance for each household comprises of 10kg of rice, 2kg of sugar, 1kg of flour, two large tins of canned fish, a packet of tea or coffee, 2kg of cooking oil, a packet of dried biscuits and a packet of instant noodles.
Awang Tengah said SDDMC had been given the green light to outsource any logistics services such as boats should there be a requirement and could also ask the State government for helicopter service for areas in the interior.
“We have asked them to identify areas where we need helicopters or river transport to deliver the food items,” he said.
The total cost for the food assistance borne by the state government is RM5.1 million.
Apart from the food assistance, the state’s Ministry of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Childhood Development through the Community Welfare Department also distributed other essential items such as baby formula, napkins and sanitary pads to 700 families at 32 longhouses.
Cooked foodstuff were also distributed to 52 frontliners at one quarantine centre and 46 frontliners manning roadblocks at four locations in Sibu.