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Tuesday July 20, 2010

1AZAM scheme benefits hardcore poor

PETALING JAYA: More than 5,000 hardcore poor households in Peninsular Malaysia have benefited from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry’s 1AZAM poverty eradication programme.

Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said the 1AZAM projects – AZAM Tani (agriculture), AZAM Niaga (small business), AZAM Kerja (work through job-matching) and AZAM Khidmat (services) – had helped the participants earn more than RM1,200 monthly.

“We will continue to take proactive steps to implement 1AZAM in meeting the National Key Result Area to eradicate poverty and raise the living standards of low-income households,” she said in a statement yesterday.

Shahrizat said the number of hardcore poor households in Perak registered under the e-Kasih database (households earning below RM440) dropped to 712 from 2,450 since participating in the programme from January.

Of the remaining 712, she said 311 were in Tani, 257 in Niaga, 92 in Kerja and 52 in Khidmat projects.

“Discussions will be held on 1AZAM’s implementation with (Mentri Besar) Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, state department heads and chairmen of MAYANG, NADI and the Women and Family Development Council,” she said.

MAYANG and NADI are groups of MPs and state assemblymen respectively involved in welfare and community development.

Shahrizat said Khidmat and Niaga were projects with big potential in Perak based on the locals’ interests and the variety of items they produced.

She said the projects provided training courses for single mothers and other women to manage their own spas and saloons.

“Focus is also given to entrepreneurship under Niaga where business management and marketing training are given to the participants,” she said.

She added that culinary and catering businesses were also booming among 1AZAM participants.

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