Govt doubles aid for families affected by disasters

KOTA KINABALU: The government will double the goodwill aid for each family affected by monsoons or other disasters from RM500 to RM1,000, says Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

The goodwill aid initiative is expected to ease the burden of more than 39,100 heads of households and involves allocations exceeding RM39.5mil from the National Disaster Fund, the Prime Minister said on Thursday (Sept 16).

"This is among the government's new measures to improve preparedness in facing the North-East Monsoon anticipated to hit from early November until March next year, involving the east coast states, Johor, Sabah and Sarawak," he added.

He also said the government would extend the allocation for the North-East Monsoon Operational Expenditure 2021/2022 to RM9.5mil to help states manage disasters.

Ismail Sabri also announced an RM18.241mil allocation from the National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) for Sabah to manage disaster management efforts and to ensure the needs of those affected are addressed.

He announced this during his working visit to Sabah, where flash floods and landslides hit the west coast districts of Kota Kinabalu, Penampang and Putatan on Wednesday (Sept 15).

"This allocation is for 2,000 food kit units (RM160,000); 2,500 C-Tent units (RM 961,250); State disaster management committee operation (RM20,000); operations of 22 district disaster management committees (RM1.1mil); and Covid-19 operations management in Sabah (RM16mil).

"I hope some of this will be utilised to manage the welfare of the flood and landslide victims in Penampang.

"My sympathies to the families of those who lost their loved ones," he said.

Two landslides occurred in the Penampang district Wednesday, one at the Forest Hill construction quarters claiming three lives.

Ismail Sabri said among other new approaches decided during a Nadma meeting was the development of non-governmental organisations and the e-Sumbangan platform to coordinate contributions for disaster victims.

He said that assistance must go through a district, state or central disaster management committee so that assistance is systematically coordinated.

"Volunteers who want to distribute or deliver assistance must get permission from this committee as they are more familiar with the needs of the victims in affected areas.

"At the same time, all agencies must share existing assets in respective states with corporate bodies, NGOs and individuals at local levels, to carry the responsibility together and embrace the Keluarga Malaysia spirit," he said.

He also reminded the people to be alert and aware of their surroundings during the monsoon season.

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