aspacpalestine.com – Malaysia. Humanitarian groups in Malaysia are rallying to help raise funds and aid for Muslims in Palestine and Syria this Ramadan.
Viva Palestina Malaysia (VPM) has launched its Ramadan Food Baskets campaign to feed impoverished families in Gaza during the fasting month.
This year, the group aims to collect RM400,000 from donations to help some 2,000 Palestinian families. The funds will be sent to Gaza and converted into coupons to allow families to buy essential food items.
“Each coupon can buy about US$50 (RM200) worth of food that can last a family of five about two weeks. They would normally buy cooking oil, rice, lentils, dates, tea, and sugar,” said its treasurer Norma Hashim.
“We have an arrangement to allow the families to buy the goods themselves from shops in their vicinity. We cover about five areas in Gaza, each with a mini market where they can go with their coupons.
“But of course, non-essential items like cigarettes are not allowed,” said Norma, adding that VPM decided to go with the coupon system as it was not practical to prepare the food baskets here and ship them there.
Having a coupon system, said Norma, would also allow local traders to get business.
VPM has already sent some funds to support about 500 families but is seeking more individual contributions.