First airlift of food to remote Sarawak cut off in MCO starts tomorrow, says state minister

Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Early Childhood Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah says standard operating procedure for the airlift, which will be conducted by the military and state-owned Hornbill Skyways, is finalised today. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie
Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Early Childhood Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah says standard operating procedure for the airlift, which will be conducted by the military and state-owned Hornbill Skyways, is finalised today. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, April 4 — The transportation of food supplies by helicopter to remote areas in six state constituencies in Sarawak will start tomorrow, state Minister of Welfare, Community Wellbeing, Women, Family and Early Childhood Development, Datuk Seri Fatimah Abdullah, said today.

She said a standard operating procedure for the airlift, which will be conducted by the military and state-owned Hornbill Skyways, was finalised today.

Fatimah said the state constituencies are Telang Usan (1,131 households), Mulu (828), Batu Danau (156), Batang Ai (355), Murum (194) and Meluan (204).

She added requests for a similar airlift have also been received from households in Long Singut, Long Unai, Long Busang and Sang Anau in the Balleh constituency.

“Residents of Kapit Division will submit all details required to the state disaster management committee secretariat,” she said.

“The food delivery operations will be coordinated by the military,” she said in a statement.

She expressed hope that the first round of deliveries can be completed within four days but stressed that this would be subject to weather conditions as safety is paramount.

“The first helicopter trip will commence tomorrow from Miri to Bario and this will be witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg,” she said.

Fatimah said that food deliveries to 67 other state constituencies have already begun.

A total of 444,329 households in 82 state constituencies will benefit from the state food aid programme under the special aid package announced by the chief minister last week to help those who are affected by the movement control order (MCO).

Each state constituency will receive RM200,000 for the provision of food items, such as rice, sugar, flour and cooking oil.

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