Malaysia is currently under a movement control order. Although a necessary measure to curb the spread of COVID-19, the order is affecting the livelihoods of Malaysians across the socio-economic spectrum. With rising unemployment and income disruption, some of the most marginalised Orang Asli communities, the indigenous people in Malaysia, are the hardest hit. With many of them relying on ad-hoc work to feed their families, the curb in movement is inadvertently cutting off their lifeline.
Dr. Teh Su Thye, CEO of Global Peace Foundation Malaysia explains: "Without any work, a majority of the Orang Asli are no longer able to bear the expenses to even put food on the table as they barely have enough saved. Most of these communities are categorised as hardcore poor, earning as little as 300 to 600 Malaysian ringgit (60 to 120 euros) on average a month."
In addition, many of the farmers are now unable to tend to their crops as their farms are located a distance from their houses. They live in uncertainty, wondering if their crops will survive, and whether they are able to sustain the months ahead without their food supplies. Even for those who can access their crops, they are unable to sell their produce due to the movement restriction.
Global Peace Foundation has been working with underserved indigenous communities in several districts in Pahang, Perak and Sarawak since 2016. They have worked with over 70 villages on projects related to access to clean water, energy and education. Many of these Orang Asli communities are in dire need of food relief, and Global Peace is currently raising funds to help 900 families, impacting 2,500 villagers. Each family will receive 50 ringgit (10 euros) worth of essential food. Essential food items include rice, flour, sugar, cooking oil, noodles, canned sardines, biscuits and salt.
“This initiative to ensure that vulnerable segments of our society do not go hungry and have a shelter during this COVID-19 pandemic is urgent. I am pleased that the bank responded swiftly and colleagues have been generous to support the important work of our regional partners,” adds Annie Yeo, Head of CSR Asia.
Global Peace Foundation is one of the selected partners that benefits from our Corporate Social Responsibility Covid-19 relief campaign. which encourages all Deutsche Bank employees to support food and shelter charities that serve their most vulnerable neighbours, including low-income children and families, the elderly, and individuals experiencing homelessness. The bank has set the ball rolling with a total of 500,000 euro in up-front donations to these long-standing CSR partner charities and will match all employee donations towards them.