ALOR GAJAH, May 1 — Applications to get welfare assistance from the Social Welfare Department (JKM) is expected to increase nationwide  due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rina Mohd Harun said this is because the impact of COVID-19 on access to financial services has given rise to various problems.

“Last year, there were about 496,000 recipients, now it has increased to 500,000 recipients as recorded since early January,” she told reporters after distributing food baskets at Masjid Tanah parliamentary constituency here today.

 Also present was Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives (MEDAC) deputy minister, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.

In the meantime, Rina explained that JKM provides volunteers who visit from house to house to assist the community especially senior citizens who need help.

“So the children need not worry if they cannot travel inter-state or district to take their parents for their vaccination.

“We have the Home Help Service team for example,  that will provide assistance and those who need their help can contact JKM for further information,” she added.

Rina said over 10,000 senior citizens have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine under the second phase of the National COVID-19 Immunisation Programme, which began on April 17.

Meanwhile, Mas Ermieyati said the recently established SMART volunteer teams at Masjid Tanah are expected to be the eyes and ears of JKM, the ministry and the government, in ensuring that the welfare of the local community is protected.

“At present, we have 50 volunteers from various backgrounds and experience,” she said.


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