Permanent Housing Assistance for Disaster Victims

The government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam continues to give serious attention in ensuring the less fortunate including victims of natural disasters and fires, received comfortable temporary lodgings. In this regard, Yang Berhormat Retired Major General Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan Bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin, Minister Of Culture, Youth And Sports, stated that the ministry is also assisting in constructing permanent housing for victims of natural disasters and fires with strategic partners. The Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports explained the matter in response to the question that have been given notice raised by Yang Berhormat Pengiran Haji Mohamed bin Pengiran Haji Osman @ Othman.

Yang Berhormat said that on the provision of permanent homes, the process for long-term aid involves coordination of various parties, firstly through the Ministry of Development which will expedite housing aid under the Housing Focus Group or HFG Committee according to suitability. According to information shared by the committee, 1 thousand 526 units of government assets such as vacant flats, barracks and houses have been reviewed to be used as aid for agencies requiring it, especially for emergency cases. Secondly, assistance in construction of houses from the legal and welfare unit, Prime Minister's Office as the secretariat for the Housing Aid Construction Provision Action Committee for the poor and destitute. The housing aid project is carried out in collaboration with the Ministry of Development, Ministry of Religious Affairs, ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports. The project is fully funded by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council, MUIB, through the tithe money collection and given priority to the victims of natural disasters and fires. The project's secretariat will also work together with MUIB to obtain temporary lodgings while waiting for the housing aid to be completed. Thirdly, through MUIB for assistance in obtaining housing under the asnaf zakat or poor and destitute recipients. In the past 10 years, MUIB has built or repaired or even bought one hundred and 3 houses for this group. The Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports also helps in the construction of permanent housing for victims of natural disasters and fires including the less fortunate, in a collaboration between the Community Development Department, JAPEM and strategic partners with funds such as Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah and the Royal Brunei Armed Forces, as well as manpower and expertise. Under this initiative, 16 houses have been built or repaired in the past 5 years and in 2019, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports' target is to assist in the construction of 2 houses for identified underprivileged.

Source: Radio Television Brunei

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