RM600,000 raised for flood relief fund

The continuous heavy rains for three days in December caused a series of floods and flash floods in Peninsular Malaysia on December 18.

Jan 14, 2022

Clean-up initiatives undertaken by the volunteers in the Klang Valley. (Tzu-Chi Malaysia youtube)

The continuous heavy rains for three days in December caused a series of floods and flash floods in Peninsular Malaysia on December 18.

The rain affected eight states across the country, with more than 71,000 individuals and families being displaced, 54 deaths and two reported missing. The lives of thousands of families were brought to a standstill. Many lost everything. Others are recovering from the trauma. The state of Selangor was the worst hit by the floods, especially in the township of Shah Alam. Homes and vehicles were submerged in water, not to mention the loss to infrastructure and properties.

In relation to this, on Dec 20, the Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia (CBCM) and Caritas Malaysia launched a National Relief Fund for flood relief initiatives.

Eight days after its launch, the fund totalled RM209,000, and as of January 6, 2022, the fund had increased to RM520,000. This sum is not inclusive of the various contributions raised by the affected parishes for their local communities, which amounted to approximately RM600,000.

Caritas Malaysia also activated an ad-hoc Disaster Relief Response (DRR) group, where directors from the flood affected dioceses and those who attended the DRR training were invited to share relief information and know-how. They in turn maintained a close coordination with their parishes and volunteers.

During CBCM’s recent conference, Bishop Bernard Paul of Caritas Malaysia, updated his peers on flood relief efforts and the status of the national fund.

The National Flood Relief Fund is made available to all flood victims throughout the country using the local parish network. The bishops urge those who need assistance to reach out to the local parishes as soon as possible. The bishops and Caritas offices are thankful for the generosity of all Malaysians who contributed towards the fund, which will remain open until Jan 22.

Ongoing Solidarity
On Jan 7, Caritas Malaysia transferred RM75,300 to the Church of the Holy Redeemer, Klang, Church of the Sacred Heart, Bentong, and North South Initiative, an NGO working with migrants.

The funds are being used to purchase basic necessities such as food, bedsheets, towels and pillows for 101 migrants in Puchong and Shah Alam.

It will also be used to assist 39 families in Bentong and 24 families in Klang rebuild their lives by providing basic amenities such as replacing electrical items, rice cookers, kettles, table fans and gas stoves. Other more common items requested are groceries, dry food, cooking utensils, furniture, mattresses, etc.

Meanwhile, the Caritas Sandakan office in the state of Sabah has alerted Caritas Malaysia on the eventual need for flood assistance for their affected communities.

Caritas Malaysia is grateful for the wider messages and gestures of solidarity from Caritas Asia, Caritas Hong Kong, Philippines and others in the region. This is significant as parts of the Philippines have been devastated by the recent Typhoon Odette (Rai); and floods are affecting Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Climate change and its impact has suddenly become a real and immediate concern for the majority of Malaysians.

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