Ismail Sabri: Food aid ruling to protect NGOs

PUTRAJAYA: The directive for NGOs to channel their food donations to the Welfare Department is to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections, says Senior Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).

He said although many NGOs were unhappy with the move, he explained that it was made in the interest of the health and safety of NGO members.

“I received a lot of feedback from NGOs who were not satisfied with the ruling prohibiting them from giving donations directly to the recipients.

“We are thankful that NGOs are at the front lines with the government in assisting people in times of crisis.

“But if they (NGOs) channel donations to the recipients directly, there is a risk that their members can be infected, as we cannot confirm the health status of the recipients.

“If NGO members get infected, there is a possibility that the virus chain will spread to their family or friends, ” he said yesterday.

While the ruling stands, Ismail Sabri, who is the Defence Minister, pledged to listen to views and feedback by various parties including NGOs themselves.

“They should understand why we are doing this as our ultimate aim is to stop the spread of the virus.

“We will discuss with the NGOs on various matters, including how to assist them in providing donations to the needy.”

On another matter, Ismail Sabri reminded those wanting to donate to certain ministries or agencies to list down the items to prevent overlapping.

He said the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) had received contributions, including face masks, from various parties for distribution to frontliners.

Meanwhile, National Association of Skilled Workers (PKPB) secretary-general Mohammad Rizan Hassan said it agreed with the ruling on donations by NGOs.

“We hope the National Security Council or Nadma can prepare an SOP on the channelling of donations during this crisis period, ” he said in a statement.

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