PUTRAJAYA, Jan 10 — The number of welfare assistance recipients under the Social Welfare Department (JKM) this year is expected to reach 550,000 people compared to 517,414 last year through the adoption of the Food Poverty Line Income (PGK) limit 2019 as application eligibility.
Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun said the expected increase was in line with the government’s decision to raise the eligibility for welfare assistance application by using the food PGK limit 2019 of RM1,169 compared to RM980 previously.
She said that about 71 per cent or RM1.772 billion of the RM2.5 billion operating expenditure for the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) this year would be channelled to welfare aid under the JKM to assist the needy.
“The ministry expects to receive many applications from those affected. I have asked for the processing to be expedited by using technology so as to facilitate their (recipients’) applications,” she told a media conference after attending the KPWKM monthly gathering here today.
Meanwhile, Rina, based on her observation of flood evacuees in temporary relief centres, proposed the use of retort technology in the delivery of food aid packages.
From her observation, although the centres had sufficient food and basic necessities, there was food wastage because pre-packed ready-to-eat food was easily spoiled.
“It’s time we further expand the use of food packaging using the retort technology or sterilisation. It will make food last longer, fresher and easier to prepare,” she said.
In the meantime, Rina said that for this year, her ministry would continue to focus on efforts to strengthen the quality of services, ensure the effectiveness of planned programmes and empower women more comprehensively.
She said that six of the ministry’s agencies, namely JKM, National Welfare Foundation (YKN), Women Development Department (JPW), National Population and Family Development Board (LPPKN), Social Institute of Malaysia (ISM) and Malaysian Board of Counsellors (LKM), would be jointly mobilised to ensure the focus for this year could be achieved.
“For this year, we do not want to work in silos. For example, when there were floods last time we only see JKM, but now I want to mobilise all (the agencies) to assist flood victims,” she said. — Bernama