ASEAN CARES empowers vulnerable communities in JB & KL through TLFP

The Lost Food Project (TLFP) with the support of the Malaysian Red Crescent Society and Johor Bahru Parliamentary Service Centre has distributed up to 1,000 food aid and hygiene kits to low-income families and local indigenous groups (also known as ‘Orang Asli’) across Johor Bahru, including flood-prone Mersing, Kluang, Segamat, Batu Pahat, Sri Stulang and Sri Iskandar as part of the ASEAN COVID-19 Active and Robust Response (ASEAN CARES) project.

In the Klang Valley, TLFP through ASEAN CARES has benefitted eight charities, including The Association of Services and Community Development of Gombak District, Yayasan Chow Kit, Tamil Community Kajang, Hope Selangor, St Mary’s Agape Mission School, Yayasan Chow Kit, Holy Trinity Bukit Bintang, and Karen Refugee Centre. In addition, leaflets containing information on the prevention of COVID-19 spread and a visual guide to handwashing were distributed to the beneficiaries and published on TLFP’s social media for greater awareness about the coronavirus.

“Thank you so much for the donation,” said one of the Chin refugees who is a mother of four. “It means a lot to know we’re able to get by comfortably and our children need not go to bed hungry in the coming weeks. We’re happy with the hygiene products to keep our children safe from the coronavirus and ingredients which allows us to cook nutritious meals for them.”

“We are incredibly grateful to 3M for this generous grant, and we are thankful for United Way and ASEAN Foundation’s support to this program, which allows us to provide critical aid to those who are experiencing financial hardship and food insecurity due to COVID-19 and the subsequent Movement Control Order (MCO). This grant is a crucial lifeline for many as the impact of the pandemic worsens, keeping hundreds of families nourished during this turbulent period as well as helping to combat the spread of the coronavirus by equipping them with hygiene kits that is crucial for them to stay protected,” said General Manager of TLFP, Mohd Syazwan.

The ASEAN CARES program is a collaborative project that aims to strengthen the awareness and resilience of the ASEAN affected populations on the COVID-19 pandemic via the provision of food parcels and hygiene kits to support urban poor families and rural communities, including persons with disabilities, women-headed households, pregnant and lactating women, ethnic, indigenous, national and regional minorities, the elderly, as well as refugees and migrants in Malaysia. The project is made possible due to the generosity of 3M as the main funder and the support of ASEAN Foundation and United Way Worldwide.

“It’s important that 3M holds true to its core values during this pandemic by supporting our communities and improving lives. The projects with United Way form part of a $20 million commitment made by 3M at a corporate level to support COVID-19 relief projects globally, and we’re grateful that some of this funding is helping the most vulnerable people in society impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in Malaysia during these exceptional times,” said Mr. GT. Lim, Country Leader of 3M Malaysia.

United Way Worldwide International President, José Pedro Ferrão, commented, “On behalf of United Way Worldwide, I am pleased to partner with The Lost Food Project, one of the ASEAN CARES partners, to help the community in Malaysia who are hit hard by COVID-19.  This pandemic is a new challenge for all of us, but I trust that we can respond to food-security issues and more by mobilizing the community’s caring power together. We look forward to working with The Lost Food Project and ASEAN Foundation to bring much-needed relief and long-term recovery to vulnerable communities in Malaysia.”

“ASEAN CARES embodies the commitment voiced by ASEAN Leaders during the Special ASEAN Summit on COVID-19 and the Special ASEAN Plus Three Summit on COVID-19, which calls for of a coherent, multi-sectoral, multi-stakeholder and whole-of-ASEAN Community approach in combating the pandemic. We seek to engage all parties, from multinational society to local communities, to work together in delivering large-scale COVID-19 relief aid to those with desperate needs and helping marginalised groups through this programme. Through this initiative, we hope that private and public sectors will work together to do our part to reduce the suffering of the people due to the impact of the Covid- 19 pandemic,” said Executive Director of ASEAN Foundation, Dr. Yang Mee Eng.

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