Food hotline open during lockdown

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BY JENNIFER KUSAPA

Food will be available for families who need food during lockdown.

The ministry of agriculture (MAL) has been assigned to make sure this service is available during the 36-hour lockdown which starts 6pm this Sunday.

However, due to the limited resources, MAL says it will only respond to people who genuinely need food during the lockdown.

MAL therefore appeals to public to stock up before lockdown, and for public to be honest with themselves and to call only if they “really need food” during lockdown.

MAL says this food service was also available to public during the country’s first lockdown exercises.

Chairman of the Livelihood Sector Committee Michael Ho’ota revealed during a joint press conference yesterday that his committee will be preparing food for people who cannot afford to stock up for the lockdown.

He said from the previous lockdown experience, they started receiving calls of food stress after 24 hours of lockdown.

“So, we will be monitoring that hour but the committee call on the public to stock-up food for 36 hours, because we only have very limited resources.

“But in the event people really need food they can contact us on phone 28116,” Ho’ota said.

He said they will be making food packages that will fit around five people each.

Ho’ota also confirmed that the number will be activated as the lockdown hour started and will monitor calls, as some people will encounter food stress within 24 hours.

Ho’ota said they want people to be true to themselves when making calls for food because they will only respond to people who really need food during those hours.

Meanwhile Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Environment (MECDM) Melchior Mataki said that the Livelihood committee also has an operational centre which will be in operation as soon as lockdown hour starts.

“There is also the National Emergency Operation Centre and the number people can call is a toll-free number 955.”

Mr Mataki confirmed that the Livelihood budget is also part of the $1.8million budget, and will also cover allowances, logistics and other needs each of the six sector committees need during lockdown.

He also explained that the $1.8million is the total budget for the 36-hour lockdown provided by the six sector committees under the National Disaster Managements Operational Committee that is chaired by the Director of the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO).


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