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Just a few days ago, charity organisations were called to stop their activities under the movement control order (MCO). They were told that all food and donated items should be directed to government agencies, which will then distribute as necessary.
Though they disagreed with the decision, the NGOs complied with the directive in the end, and had to give away their stockpile of food that was meant for the needy to prevent it from going to waste.
Now, the government has backed down from their initial decision, citing that charity groups can continue their activities but only if they follow the standard operating procedure.
Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun said that her ministry and the Welfare Department has set certain new guidelines for the charity groups.
According to the new SOP, groups wanting to distribute aid must prove that they belong to a welfare-oriented organisation and not individuals doing so out of goodwill.
These groups must notify the state Welfare Department a day before their aid distribution activities and are only allowed to distribute dry food or cooking ingredients.
All NGO personnel must be equipped with face masks, gloves, and hand sanitisers during the distribution process. They must have their temperatures checked and cannot show any kind of symptoms.
During distribution activities, social distancing must be observed. Only a maximum of two people can be deployed, to be accompanied by personnel from the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) and Malaysia Civil Defence Force (APM).
The ministry appreciates the concerns expressed by NGOs in helping to channel contributions to the needy during the MCO period.Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Harun
Interested NGOs are advised to contact their respective state Welfare Department office 24-hours operations room or visit their website here.
Anne is an advocate of sustainable living and the circular economy, and has managed to mum-nag the team into using reusable containers to tapau food. She is also a proud parent of 4 cats and 1 rabbit.