Covid-19 fund for Orang Asli successfully disbursed

THE Covid-19 Orang Asli Fund (TaC-OA) has been closed after successfully raising over RM353,730.

A total of RM353,437.71 has been disbursed to 6,733 households, benefiting 33,159 individuals.

They come from 189 Orang Asli villages, representing 11 (of the 18) Orang Asli sub-ethnic groups across Peninsular Malaysia.

The three organisers of TaC-OA – Centre for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC), Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur (RIKL) and Impian Malaysia (IM) – said in a statement that the campaign was launched during phase two of the movement control order (MCO).

“The government’s food aid and cash stimulus programmes were not announced then, and there was a feeling of desperation among the Orang Asli community with regards to their food security.

“We reacted to their calls for assistance by appealing to the public’s generosity and solidarity,” said the statement.

Orang Asli local coordinators used the funds to buy food and other necessities, and later transported and distributed them to their community.

In thanking donor and well-wishers, the three organisations said they were able to attend to all the requests for aid.

“Thanks to your quick response, we hit our first target of RM30,000 in less than 36 hours.

“We then revised our target to RM100,000 and this was reached within a week,” they said.

The organisers added that under the third phase of the MCO, the food needs of the Orang Asli were no longer acute.

The government’s economic stimulus package known as Bantuan Prihatin Nasional (BPN) has been released and will benefit many Orang Asli individuals.

They now want to ensure as many Orang Asli individuals as possible are enrolled in the BPN, as practically all of them are eligible.

“Although we closed the food aid campaign for Orang Asli families, we continue to receive requests from the communities for aid.

“This time, requests are more from mothers with young children who need milk powder, diapers, soap and food such as ikan bilis, onion and garlic,” said the organisers.

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