One moment...

Blogs / Professional Fellows Exchange Program / Food Security during Disaster: Malaysia’s Gaps

Food Security during Disaster: Malaysia’s Gaps

Chee Kai Ng, Malaysia

Organizing Grantee: ICMA

YSEALI Theme: Civic Engagement

Host: City of Rocky Mount, NC

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This blog serves as a brief introduction of my action plan to address the community challenge.

Malaysia is also known as a “fortunate” land. Its geographical location has made Malaysia away from all the major natural disasters. Through, some minor cases such as flood and landslides do happened from time to time. Recent experiences in managing disaster have showed that there are inadequate of preparation and coordination in the distribution of necessities. Some victims, especially those trapped in the remote areas did not have access to help, while the victims at town areas are over-loaded with food and clothing.

Malaysia does not have a specific strategy to ensure necessities (especially food items) are reaching the victims during disaster. There is just a general statement in Policy & Mechanism of Disaster Management that Department of Social Welfare is responsible for the preparation and distribution of necessities to victims. Therefore, a structured action plan is urgently needed to ensure that necessities, especially food are available and accessible for all victims.

The National Security Council which hold the main responsible for all disaster management in Malaysia need to initiate the discussion with Department of Social Welfare and relevant agencies (including governments, industries and NGOs) to strengthen the process of necessities preparation and distribution during disaster. Assets, professionals and agencies’ capacities need to be identified and proper coordinated. It might be a challenge for Department of Social Welfare to mobilize those assets and professionals during disaster, but it could be easier if the department obtain the support and mandate from the country leaders such as the Prime Minister.

Furthermore, it is also important to determine the type and amount of food for victims based on their nutrition requirements. Experts in nutrition and health from the Ministry of Health, universities and professional bodies shall provide the evidences-based guidelines and recommendations. On the other hand, some best practice models from the other countries or international bodies may also serve as references for this matter.

To conclude this, urgent actions are needed to close the gaps. Disaster can happen anytime, anywhere. Malaysian need to be prepared before the next disaster strike.