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THESENTRAL: DHRRA Malaysia strives to assist the underprivileged via #COVIDCAREMY initiative

PETALING JAYA, Apr 3:  Malaysia has now entered the second phase of the Movement Control Order (MCO). The nation grappled to accept the extension of the MCO until 14th April 2020 and the resulting disruptions to our social routines. The extension has a dire consequence, particularly for the marginalized and vulnerable communities in the country. For them, the question remains how to keep the stomach of every member of their family filled.

The underprivileged groups comprise of those low wage earners in the B40 group, those who have lost their daily source of income, OKUs, frontline workers, refugees, stranded foreign tourists, local and international students of universities, stateless as well as undocumented communities. They have basic needs that do not vanish with difficult times especially those with almost non-existent savings.

Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas, Malaysia (DHRRA), the grassroot organization mooted by its existing work with the underprivileged sprung to action by leading a coalition of NGOs in supporting the affected communities by addressing their basic needs, through the initiation of #COVIDCAREMY.

“#COVIDCAREMY is mobilized and supported by a coalition of NGOs, called the Marginalized Community Support Group, which consisted of 12 local NGOs at the time of inception, and has grown in strength with now a partnership of 21 community organizations working for a mutual cause. Since inception, #COVIDCAREMY hotlines, we have received 2115 requests for assistance through our hotlines. Up to now, we have already provided assistance to 10,076 household members. Each request is only approved after verification,” said Maalini Ramalo, Director for Social Protection, DHRRA Malaysia.

“For over a fortnight, we have been striving to meet all the requests, by providing careline supports, food and grocery aids, replenishment of prescribed medicines and support for any other emergency needs on case by case basis. We are facing a lot of challenges along the way, especially the needs of the underprivileged exceed our funding supply.”

“The #COVIDCAREMY initiative will continue to contribute towards the national effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 and ensure vulnerable communities have access to the support required to sustain their lives throughout the MCO period, we also hope to prepare and help them to build their lives in the aftermath of the pandemic. As we address the pandemic, no one should be left behind,” stressed Maalini further.


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