Welfare Groups May Resume Aid Distribution but with Strict Guidelines

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Charity group may again distribute aid to the poor and needy, the government said today to reverse its previous directive for such activities to be halted during the movement control order.

Conditions:

  • Groups wanting to distribute aid must show they are welfare-oriented organisations
  • Only cooked food and dry goods can be distributed
  • Groups must notify the state Welfare Department a day before distribution activities
  • Only two people from a group can be present, and they will be accompanied by enforcement officials, including Rela or army personnel
  • The two aid workers must abide by health and safety precautions set by the National Security Council, which include temperature checks, use of masks, gloves, hand sanitisation and social distancing of one metre

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun said her ministry and the Welfare Department have developed standard operating procedures for such groups to follow when distributing aid.

Ng Xiang Yi/Malaysiakini

“This will ensure the distribution activities adhere to the regulations from the National Security Council and the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases Act,” she said in a statement.

Previously, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said non-governmental organisations helping to feed the poor and homeless during the MCO must stop delivering food directly to the needy.

He said at the time that the decision was made for the safety of the NGOs’ members and to minimise the potential for spreading Covid-19 during their distribution work.

The guidelines were posted today to the Women, Family and Community Development Facebook page.

Rina thanked the NGOs for their willingness to work together in ensuring aid was channelled to the people in an effective manner.

“The ministry appreciates the concerns expressed by NGOs in helping to channel contributions to the needy during the MCO period,” she said.

Interested NGOs are advised to contact their respective state Welfare Department office 24-hour operations room or www.jkm.gov.my for further information.