● RM3 million was allocated to assist 60,000 B40 households, out of more than RM10.2 million committed for food aid in response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Petaling Jaya, 15 October 2021
– Yayasan Sime Darby (YSD) had committed RM3 million worth of in-kind support in the form of 60,000 food baskets through a collaboration with Yayasan Kebajikan Negara (YKN) to support the implementation of the Program Bakul Prihatin Negara. The Bakul Prihatin Negara aid that started on 19 July 2021 is intended to alleviate the burden of the B40 households with basic necessities. YSD had fully distributed the aid to the needy through Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM) in 13 states and two federal territories by 11 September 2021.

In addition, as part of the commemorations of World Food Day this year, YSD had undertaken food-related initiatives for marginalised communities throughout Malaysia alongside the foundation’s project partners. These initiatives, worth another RM7.2 million, had provided food items to a total of 99,679 families and individuals; comprising 80,780 families from B40 categories, 5,640 flood victims, 4,956 teachers and students, 4,500 frontliners and volunteers, 1,618 artists, as well as 2,185 individuals from the vulnerable communities including old folks, orphans, refugee families, and Orang Asli households.

Chief Executive Officer of YSD, Dr Hjh Yatela Zainal Abidin shared, “Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it is imperative for YSD to support urgent initiatives that prioritise the health and wellbeing of vulnerable communities, while addressing the socio-economic implications of the pandemic. We are humbled to be part of this crucial endeavour with YKN, to provide immediate urgent help to poor communities.”

“Our food-centred projects fall in line with this year’s World Food Day theme of ‘Our Actions are Our Future’. Aside from collaborating with YKN on the food baskets, we also collaborated with various partners on the ground who are close to the needy communities, including frontliners, to provide them urgent food aid during these turbulent times. As the pandemic also affected animal welfare, YSD also focused on food for animals such as the sun bears in Sabah and a few endangered animal species in Zoo Negara. Looking to the future, YSD is also funding a long-term programme on food security to adapt to the global climate change crisis. United with our partners, I am confident we shall overcome global challenges by creating a ripple effect towards making a difference in the lives of others,” she continued.

Additionally, YSD recently collaborated with The Lost Food Project (TLFP) to distribute surplus food to 1,200 underprivileged families in Lembah Pantai and 2,400 families from Program Perumahan Rakyat (PPR) Residence and quarantine areas in Lembah Klang. Besides easing the burden on the communities impacted by the pandemic, the longer term collaboration with TLFP also aims at rescuing surplus groceries and giving them to the least advantaged for nutritious meals. This effort also addresses the devastating environmental consequences of food overproduction leading to waste, that results in massive greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the global climate change crisis.

In addition to YSD’s effort to ensure that the population has adequate access to nutritious food, a portion of the YSD’s committed amount was also channelled to providing food and medication to the Bornean Sun Bears under YSD’s long term sponsorship to the Bornean Sun Bear Conservation Centre (BSBCC) in Sepilok, Sabah. YSD is also contributing a substantial amount to Zoo Negara to feed and medicate 7 species of endangered animals namely the Asian Elephant, Malayan Tiger, Orangutan, White – Handed Gibbon, Malayan Gaur, Hornbill and Milky Stork.

Aside from providing food assistance, YSD has also committed RM600,000 in a research and development project with the University of Nottingham Malaysia to increase the public's awareness of the nutritional value of local, underutilised crops. The ongoing research funded by YSD is expected to spotlight the potential of underutilised crops through the ASSESSCROP database as part of the progress towards achieving food security by empowering communities to live sustainably. YSD’s work in strengthening the resilience of food systems is hoped to enable the communities to cope with diseases and climate change.

YSD’s support in food supply and ensuring food security for the vulnerable and disadvantaged groups of the communities through their collaboration with beneficiaries and project partners is in line with one of the focus areas of the foundation’s Community & Health pillar, to support community-based programmes and sustainable initiatives intended to improve the well-being of disadvantaged people while reducing the socio-economic disparities of the communities. To this end, YSD will continue to make available the resources vital to achieve these objectives, which are aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being at all ages.

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Last Updated:
17 Mar 2022
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