Applications for state aid can be done online

Fatimah (right) presenting gifts to a woman in the labour ward.

APPLICATIONS for the Sarawak Endowment Fund (EFS) and Maternity Assistance (BIB) initiatives from the Sarawak government can now be done online.

EFS gives RM1,000 in the form of trust savings to every Sarawakian newborn regardless of race, religion or socio-economic status.

BIB is a one-off assistance of RM450 for Sarawakians women (with letter K in the identity card) who gives birth to a child.

The money is for them to buy healthy nutrition and personal care items during the confinement period.

Sarawak Women, Children and Community Wellbeing Minister Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah said the digitalisation process allowed applications to be done anywhere, any time.

“People needing aid will no longer have to go to government departments to apply,” she said.

Fatimah was speaking after visiting the maternity ward at Sibu Hospital.

She said that the EFS introduced in 2019 received a favourable response with 80% of applications from 36,117 birth registrations.

For 2020, applications increased to 85% before dropping to 69% in 2021.

Last year, applications increased to 72% because births rose at that time to 32,740 births.

As for BIB, Fatimah explained that the initiative that started in 2020 was poorly received at first, reaching only 65% of eligible new mothers.

The figure increased to 83% in 2021.

However, in 2022, there was a slight drop in BIB applications to 80%.

Her ministry wants to see a big jump in applications for the two aid programmes to 90% for this year.

“The Sarawak government wants to help more people.

“Therefore, we must reach this target of 90% as it is the KPI (Key Performance Index) that has been set for us,” said Fatimah, who is also the Dalat assemblyman.

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